2013 EPT PCA Super High Roller Day 2: David “Doc” Sands Takes Gigantic Chip Lead into Final Table

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If you are going to pick a tournament at which to go on a gigantic surge and reach the final table as an overwhelming chip leader, a year-opening near-record setting high roller tournament is a great way to go. That is what David “Doc” Sands did Sunday, going from tenth place to first as the final table was set at the 2013 European Poker Tour (EPT) PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) $100,000 Super High Roller Event.

With 6.68 million chips, Sands has almost 4.5 million more than his closest competitor, Nick Schulman. In fact, he has over 80 percent of the chips of all seven final table opponents combined. But how did Sands multiply his chip stack sixteen times over the course of Day 2? It was mostly because of three hands.

After winning a 1.4 million chip pot from Vivek Rajkumar, he got involved in a hand with the man most consider to be the best poker player in the world, Phil Ivey. Sands began the betting pre-flop, raising to 57,000. Ivey called from the big blind and the two saw a flop of 5-A♣-3. Ivey check-called a 64,000 chip bet to see the turn of 6♣. This time, though, Ivey check-raised a Sands bet of 177,000 all the way up to 557,000. Sands then moved all-in for 1.25 million. It took Ivey three minutes to make a decision, deciding to make the call. He had 2♣-5♣, giving him a pair and a flush draw. But Sands had A-5 for flopped two pair, needing to fade a club. Fade the club he did, eliminating Phil Ivey and taking the chip lead with 3 million chips.

A short time later, with blinds and antes at 15,000/30,000/4,000, Sands raised pre-flop to 64,000 and Vanessa Selbst made the call. After the flop of J♣-4♠-2♣, Sands bet 84,000, only to see Selbst raise him to 233,000. Sands had no problem with that and called, bringing on a turn of Q♣. Sands checked-called another 347,000 chip bet and the final card, the 5♣, was dealt. Sands checked, Selbst shoved for 1.2 million, and Sands insta-called. The reason was obvious when he showed his hole cards: A♣-2♠ for the nut flush, destroying Selbst’s 7-5, which was good for just a pair. A bluff gone horribly wrong. That took Sands’ stack to over 5 million chips and that was still even a far cry from where he finished Day 2.

Two players – Jeff Gross and David Benefield – re-entered the tournament before play started Sunday, bringing the total field to 59 (counting those two, there were 39 players still alive at the beginning of the day). That brought the total prize pool to $5,724,180, the second largest ever for a $100,000 buy-in tournament. The 2012 PokerStars EPT Grand Final holds the record with a prize pool of $5,790,840 (converted from Euros). First place will be just over $2 million, with only the players who made the final table taking home a paycheck.

The final table will begin at 1:00pm EST at the Atlantis in the Bahamas.

2013 EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller Event – Day 2 Chip Counts

1.    David Sands — 6,680,000
2.    Nick Schulman — 2,295,000
3.    Philipp Gruissem — 1,610,000
4.    Greg Jensen — 1,500,000
5.    Dan Shak — 870,000
6.    Scott Seiver — 755,000
7.    Cary Katz — 590,000
8.    Vladimir Troyanovsky — 505,000

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