2016 PCA $100,000 Super High Roller, Day 2: Final Table Determined with Bryn Kenney Leading World Champion Joe McKeehen

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While most people visit the sun and surf of Paradise Island in the Bahamas for those basic necessities of life – sun and surf – the folks who have invaded that tropical locale this week aren’t there to get a nice winter tan. The 13th Annual PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is in full swing with the second day of the $100,000 Super High Roller in the books and a leaderboard that would make any tournament proud.

Although 32 players came back after Day One’s festivities, the late registration/rebuy period (up to the start of action on Day Two) allowed for nine more players to either join or rejoin the game. Only one of those nine, Dzmitry Urbanovich, was in for a single buy, while everyone else was back for at least their second shot. The reason we say “at least” was the figure of Bill Perkins, who burned through three buy-ins on Day One and confidently stated he would be back on Day Two as if nothing had happened. At that point, Perkins knew what he needed to do just to break even for the tournament.

After the final numbers were crunched for the tournament, a $5.626 million prize pool was built from the 58 entries (44 actual players entered the tournament). PokerStars officials went for a generous payout system, ensuring eight players would be able to enjoy from the largesse of the field with eighth taking home $225,040. The eventual champion – who will be crowned on Friday – will take home a $1,687,800 payday; second place is also paying off in seven figures, with that person earning $1,220,480.

As the cards hit the air on Thursday, Tamal Shakerchi was in the lead, but all eyes were on Perkins as he began to sling chips. Starting off with a 250K stack (the starting stack for a $100K buy-in), Perkins carved some chips from the stack of Shakerchi when his A-J was good on a 9-A-4-Q-Q board. By the time Level 11 had begun, Perkins had been able to more than double his stack (640K) and seemed to be in good shape, while others such as Justin Bonomo, Fedor Holz (looking for his third consecutive Super High Roller title, rolling back to 2015), Igor Kurganov and Ole Schemion fell to the wayside.

Two players were intriguing in their climbs up the ladder through the day’s play. Defending World Champion Joe McKeehen hasn’t had the Angel of Fortune leave his side yet as he waltzed through this Super High Roller field seemingly at will on Thursday. He was responsible for the knockouts of Bonomo and Kurganov, but got extremely lucky against Erik Seidel to stay amongst the leaders. On a 10♣ 5♣ 4 flop, McKeehen bet out enough to put Seidel all in and, after Seidel’s call, showed a Q♣ 8♣ for only a flush draw. The only problem with that was Seidel was also looking for a better flush draw and was ahead with his K♣ 4♣ (bottom pair).

With McKeehen holding very few outs, it looked as if the eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner would get a key double at an opportune time. Instead, the turn brought a J and the river a 9, delivering an unlikely straight to McKeehen and the victory. Not one to look upon his situation as fortunate, McKeehen is reported by PokerNews as saying after the hand, “I’m not gonna lie, when I saw the turn I thought I was going to win.”

The other player who made an impact on the day’s action was Bryn Kenney. Kenney made some noise early in the day by becoming the first player to crack the million chip mark in sending Jason Mercier to the rail but, by the time the final two tables were determined, there was a great chance that Kenney wouldn’t survive much further. Kenney got a big boost, however, in busting Mike McDonald from the tournament and then crept over two million in besting Mustapha Kanit. By the time Kenney eliminated Daniel Dvoress in seventh place ($286,920 and a final table tick on his Hendon Mob resume), he had taken the chip lead over the remaining five men on the felt.

1. Bryn Kenney, 3.82 million
2. Ankush Mandavia, 3.36 million
3. Joe McKeehen, 2.805 million
4. David Peters, 2.085 million
5. Isaac Haxton, 1.395 million
6. Mustapha Kanit, 1.03 million

(Dvoress, who finished in seventh, and Kathy Lehne, who finished in eighth for $225,040, will earn final table credits.)

With such a tightly packed final table, this truly is anyone’s game. Kenney and McKeehen have the experience and the background to be able to close out such a situation, but Peters has been lurking for the entirety of the tournament. Haxton and Kanit are in for multiple buys, so a win would be especially sweet for them. The wild card is Mandavia who, until last year, hadn’t even played in a High Roller event, let alone a Super High Roller. Since August 2015, though, Mandavia has a predominance of cashes in events with a buy-in of $25,000 or higher and has done well, with a fifth place run at the Bellagio WPT Alpha8 event in December 2015 his best finish.

The final table will begin at 1PM local time and a live stream will be available an hour later with hole cards. Friday also marks the start of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure’s European Poker Tour Main Event, so it promises to be a busy day around the lazy island in the Atlantic!

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