PCA Main Event Day 5

In keeping with the tone set by the preceding days of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure’s Main Event, Day 5 proved to be just as eventful and unpredictable. We are now down to the last eight players, and no one could have predicted this lineup. Ana Marquez, Day 4’s triumphant chip leader, slowly bled out her lead and finally met her end in the last few hands of Day 5. To be fair, the $155,000 check she netted for her 10th place finish is by far the best of her career.

Another disappointing Day 5 elimination was Chris Moneymaker. Moneymaker came into Day 5 with a stack that was only slightly smaller than Marquez’s, but he had no better luck and finished his run in 11th. While the $130,000 payout was the third largest of his career, it wasn’t the big, redeeming win his fans have been waiting for since his 2003 WSOP Championship. Better luck next time, Moneymaker.

Most of the rest of Day 4’s top ten players managed to maintain their positions and secure a seat at the final table. Six of the eight finalists – Chris Oliver, Mike Sowers, Sam Stein, Bolivar Palacios, Philippe Plouffe and Galen Hall – never dropped their chip leads, leaving little room for the other competitors to advance. Here’s the official breakdown on the final eight stacks: 

  1. Chris Oliver – 19,670,000
  2. Galen Hall – 6,430,000
  3. Sam Stein – 5,855,000
  4. Mike Sowers – 3,685,000
  5. Anton Ionel – 3,520,000
  6. Max Weinberg – 3,350,000
  7. Bolivar Palacios – 2,445,000
  8. Philippe Plouffe – 1,555,000

As you can clearly see, Oliver is hoarding quite a bit of the table’s ammunition. The bottom half of the table actually have smaller stacks than Day 4’s top players. With Oliver throwing his weight around at the end of Day 5, the strategy for most of the other players seemed to be to simply hang on. As Marquez and Moneymaker’s Day 5 eliminations proved, a chip lead isn’t everything, but a chip lead that’s three times the size of your nearest competitor’s stack is still a pretty powerful tool and a near guarantee that Oliver’s going to see heads-up action on Saturday.

This year’s competition was the biggest in history with a total prize pool of more than $15 million and a career-changing top prize of $2.3 million with $1 million+ payouts for second through fourth. We’ll be back Saturday afternoon to cover the final table of the Caribbean Adventure’s Main Event. Also finishing up on Saturday will be the NAPT Bounty Shootout and the $25,000 High Roller events.

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