2013 EPT PCA: Ashton Griffin Leads Field Entering Day 2

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The first major event of the 2013 live poker tournament season got underway this week with the 2013 European Poker Tour (EPT) PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event. Both starting flights have been completed and it’s a close race for the top spot, with Ashton Griffin coming out of Day 1B as the chip leader with 253,700 chips, followed closely by Maxim Lobzhanidze, who led all Day 1A players with 248,900 chips.

As usually happens in multi-starting day poker tournaments, the second starting flight saw more players register than the first, but it was a bit surprising how much bigger it was. Day 1A was fairly small with only 320 registrants, but Day 1B saw twice that, with 649 players signing up. An additional 18 players never showed up, making the total 2013 PCA field 987 strong.

162 players made it out of Day 1A and 338 survived Day 1B, creating a Day 2 of a nice, even 500 player field.

The total prize pool is $9,573,900, meaning two places will pay over a million dollars: first place pays $1,859,000 and second place pays $1,190,000. A total of 144 players will make the money at the 2013 PCA, starting with a minimum cash of $15,000.

Our chip leader, Ashton Griffin, has a short live tournament resume to date, but he has seen some solid success so far. In 2010, he won the $25,000 High Roller Bounty Shootout Invitational at the Venetian’s Deep Stack Extravaganza, cashing for $560,000. He has four World Series of Poker cashes, including a 5th place finish in this year’s $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Event ($55,482) and a 12th place finish in the £5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Event at the 2009 WSOP Europe (£14,900 / $24,564). All told, the Florida resident has won over three-quarters of a million dollars in live tournaments.

Notables going into Day 2 with over 100,000 chips include Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi (216,900), Darren Elias (191,000), Greg “FBT” Mueller (181,100), Shawn Buchanan (129,000), Olivier Busquet (128,600), Steve O’Dwyer (125,700), Carlos Mortensen (117,000), Matt Waxman (106,200), and Scott Clements (102,200).

Also in the field is the most decorated Olympian of all time, swimmer Michael Phelps. A known poker fan, Phelps starts Day 2 with 92,000 chips. Another celebrity poker buff, Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame, was unable to make it past his starting flight.

Those who failed to advance past either Day 1A or 1B were Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier, JC Alvarado, Marvin Rettenmaier, Huck Seed, Jonathan Duhamel, Barry Greenstein, Marcel Luske, Jean-Robert Bellande, Faraz Jaka, and this week’s High Roller Event winner Scott Seiver.

Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey just barely made it to Day 2 with 24,800 and 5,600 chips, respectively.

Day 2 is currently underway at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas as the remaining 500 players try to keep building their chip stacks to make a run at the money.

2013 European Poker Tour PCA – Day 1A and Day 1B Combined Chip Leaders

1.    Ashton Griffin – 253,700
2.    Maxim Lobzhanidze – 248,900
3.    Michael Mizrachi – 216,900
4.    Gilbert Diaz – 215,900
5.    Darren Elias – 191,000
6.    Paul Volpe – 186,200
7.    Greg Mueller – 181,100
8.    Simon Higgins – 181,100
9.    Gjergj Sinishtaj – 160,300
10.    Giacomo Fundaro – 165,700

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