2016 PCA EPT Main Event Day 5: Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson Leads Final Six, Anthony Gregg Makes Third-Ever PCA Main Event Final Table
It was a day of history at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure European Poker Tour Main Event on Wednesday as the final table for the event was determined. When the final six men come back to the felt this afternoon, Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson will be at the helm of the ship but he will face the visage of Anthony Gregg, who is making his third trip to the PCA Main Event final table in his career.
Coming into the day on Wednesday, 19 players still had the chance to take home one of the poker world’s most coveted championships with Leonardo Pires atop the leaderboard. The remainder of the field was replete with challenges, however, including Fedor Holz, Toby Lewis, Taylor Paur, Ami Barer, Stephen Chidwick and Vladimir Troyanovskiy along with Watson and Gregg. Pires looked to almost be a lock for making the final six with his 4.566 million in chips (almost double what second place Randy Kritzer held with 2.385 million) but, as it works out many times, it wasn’t to be for Pires.
After losing one of the first hands of the day to get dangerously close to being knocked out, Troyanovskiy was able to get a big double through Pires when he flopped a set of sevens against Pires, who airballed with his Q-J to fall under four million in chips. Undaunted, Pires – whose penchant for making abnormal plays throughout the tournament had built the stack that sat before him – immediately rebuilt back up to 4.8 million in making a baby flush in holding a 4♠ 3♠. It got better for Pires when he eliminated Fabian Ortiz in 17th place to bring the tournament down to two tables and push his chip stack to 6.268 million.
Once the tables were redrawn, the chips continued to fly. Watson would come to life with a tournament-saving double up against Kritzer when his A♠ 4♠ turned a flush to eclipse the flopped set of eights from Kritzer. He doubled again, this time through Pires, making a hero call on a 2-4-6-3-J board after Pires moved all in on the river. Pires had hit the flop with his K-6, but it wasn’t good enough as Watson’s pocket sevens survived and pushed the Canadian to 3.674 million, a tremendous improvement after being close to death only ten minutes previously.
This seemed to steel everyone when it came to attacking Pires. First Martin McCormick and then Troyanovskiy would cut pieces out of Pires, dwindling his stack under the four million mark again. When Ken Demlakian took a big pot against the Brazilian, Pires was suddenly at 2.82 million and showing some vulnerability in the tournament. After Pires was defeated by Kritzer, with Kritzer doubling up when his Q-J made two pair against Pires’ pocket tens, Pires had lost more than 4.4 million chips in one level and was struggling under the chip average.
On the very first hand of Level 26, Pires’ final confrontation would take place. With 1.79 million chips still in front of him, Pires saw Watson open the betting and Demlakian make the call in front of him. With 275K in chips in the pot, Pires moved all in from the big blind for his nearly two million in chips, possibly attempting to push his opponents off the pot. The problem was that the “table image” once held by Pires had been destroyed over the previous level; Watson quickly called (Demlakian decided against the fight) and turned up pocket tens while Pires could only bring an off suit 4-3 to the battle. Although he would flop a trey, a ten on the turn ended any chance to win the hand and sent Pires out in 13th place after being the chip leader just one level previously.
Now sitting with over 6.6 million in chips, Watson wouldn’t exactly cruise into the final table of the PCA EPT Main Event. Troyanovskiy would prove to be a formidable opponent, doubling up through Watson and actually taking over the lead at one point Wednesday evening. The duo would swap the lead back and forth as the play went into the night, with Watson eking out the lead as Gregg eliminated Demlakian to end the festivities for Wednesday.
1. Mike Watson, 6.585 million
2. Anthony Gregg, 5.68 million
3. Vladimir Troyanovskiy, 5.025 million
4. Toby Lewis, 4.665 million
5. Phillip McAllister, 3.04 million
6. Randy Kritzer, 2.575 million
Demlakian, who finished seventh for $110,220, and Timothy Ulmer, who finished eighth for $78,540, will receive credit for an official EPT final table finish.
Along with Gregg’s achievement, Troyanovskiy has also etched his name into the annals of the PCA. Troyanovskiy becomes the first player in history to final table the PCA Main Event, its $100,000 Super High Roller and its $25,000 High Roller tournaments. And, in case you’re wondering, there is still one former EPT champion in the mix in Lewis, who will be looking to match Vicky Coren as a two-time champion on the EPT.
The final table will resume at 1PM (Bahamas time, same as Eastern Time) and a live stream will be found on EPTLive one hour later (at that time, online coverage will also resume). It is the penultimate day of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure’s EPT Main Event and someone will be walking off at least $833,260 more reasons to be happy at the end of the night.
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