Day 2 of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is in the books and, with the money bubble on the horizon, Russia’s Oleg Titov holds the lead over the 101 players that remain.

By the time that two Day Ones were in the books, 571 players had ponied up the $10,000 buy in to participate in the 2018 PCA Main Event. That number is a big leap, prize pool wise, over the 738 players who paid $5000 in 2017 to play. The $5.645 million prize pool – of which the winner will take a $1,081,100 payday – also dwarfs last year’s efforts ($3.376 million).

By the time Day 2 started on Wednesday afternoon, only 324 of those 571 entries were still around with hopes of winning the championship. Heading the pack was Day 1B chip leader, sitting on a stack of 155,000 chips, while the Day 1A chip leader, Affif Prado, could only muster up 137,500 but was on an extra day of rest. Lurking in the pack were many members of the Team PokerStars Pro stable, including Jake Cody, Liv Boeree and Barry Greenstein, and other pros such as Nick Petrangelo, Koray Aldemir and Oleksii Khoroshenin.

The Day 2 proceedings got off to a roaring start with the awarding of one of the $30,000 Platinum Passes to next year’s $25,000 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC). Before the day got off to a start, one of the remaining tables was chosen and a single hand was dealt out between the players (one of which was poker pro Mike Leah). An all-club 8-10-6 flop was dealt and each player turned up a card, with Leah taking the lead by turning up a ten but Pavel Ignatov giving a sweat by turning up a 9♣ (straight flush and flush draw). A blank four came on the turn and, with another eight on the river, the players turned up their cards.

Leah, who had led the entire way, did not improve on his pair of tens, but Thai Ha did. With a deuce showing, the second hole card was turned up. That 8♠ yanked the hand away from Leah and, with trip eights, made Ha unbeatable and the winner of the Platinum Pass. The odd part of the story? Ha wasn’t at the table when the hand occurred! He would wander into the scene after the hand was played, wondering what the commotion was, before finding out he was the big winner to start Day 2.

As typical for action at the start of the day, there were several casualties that barely got their chips unbagged before they hit the door. Mustapha Kanit, Martins Adeniya, Jared Jaffee, Dmitar Danchev, Leah and Ignatov barely had time to warm their seats before they were out of chips and heading into the Bahamian afternoon. The news was better for others, however, as the day played out.

Journalist and psychologist (and could we soon hyphenate that to “journalist/psychologist/poker pro?”) Maria Konnikova has been the talk of the Atlantis Resort after her stunning win in the $1500 PokerStars National Championship preliminary event, but either the “run good” is still with her or there are some skills to the good doctor. She bought into the Main Event just before late registration closed on Wednesday and, by the end of the night, was able to take her 30K starting stack up to 266,000. That has Konnikova still in the hunt amongst the 101 other players who will be back on Thursday to drive to the title.

1. Oleg Titov, 493,000
2. Gleidibe Goncalves, 472,000
3. Lucas Blanco, 435,000
4. Karl Stark, 424,000
5. Michael Stashin, 403,000
6. Keith Lehr, 374,500
7. Christian Rudolph, 367,500
8. Adrian Mateos, 358,000
9. Alexander Gambino, 352,500
10. Jonathan West, 344,000
(tie) Patryk Poterek, 344,000

Lurking under the Top Ten are such names as David Peters (327K), Jack Sinclair (274K), Konnikova (266K) and Vladimir Troyanovskiy (231K). Those with some work to do include Kevin MacPhee (38,500), Ivan Luca (77K) and Greenstein (69K).

The first task for those returning to the Atlantis tournament room on Thursday will be determining who is going to get paid. 87 players will be a recipient of at least $17,500 and a new entry for their Hendon Mob page. The PokerStars TV live stream will bring some of the action to fans and, by the end of the night, it is possible that the final three tables will have been determined as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event looks for a new champion.

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