After another long day of battle on the green baize at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, David Peters has taken control of the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event with 16 players remaining. In fact, he is the only player over the three million mark in chips, with nearly a million-chip lead over the second-place stack.

43 runners came back to the line for the start of action on Friday with Karl Stark holding the edge over Peters to start the day. On the very first hand, Stark demonstrated he was going to defend his lead as Lachezar Petkov pushed all in off the button. Stark took one peek at his cards from the small blind and immediately made the call, tabling a questionable A-9 off suit against Petkov’s also questionable K-Q off suit. Once the board ran out ten high, Petkov was out before his chair was even warm and Stark extended his lead.

The news wasn’t good for another player who has made some waves at the 2018 PCA. Maria Konnikova, who has been taking lessons on poker from none other than Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel as she researches a book, was the short stack to start the day. When she did find a moment to move, it turned out to be the wrong one. After Aleksandr Milyaev put out a bet and Konnikova moved all in, Stark would four bet the action and call when Milyaev moved all in. As it would turn out, Konnikova was drawing between “slim” and “none” and “slim” was heading to the door:

Stark:  A♠ Q♠
Konnikova:  Q-J off suit
Milyaev:  pocket Aces

Konnikova needed a great deal of help and the 7-6-7 flop left her drawing to less than 1% for the win. Once the 4 came on the turn, both Stark and Konnikova were drawing dead, but Konnikova’s tournament life was extinguished as the meaningless river card was dealt. As she left the felt in 42nd place, Stark’s once dominant stack was chopped by a quarter million chips while Milyaev stacked 580K in chips.

Stark’s day was about to get much worse after that hand. He would double up Adrian Mateos to fall under the million-chip mark and never find his way back to the lead. On his final hand, he saw Liv Boeree open the action and made the call. Koray Aldemir, never one to let someone else drive the action, three-bet the action to 100K in chips that was enough to get Boeree out of the way. Stark was having none of it, though, as he pushed all in. Aldemir, after learning it was Stark’s 762K in chips at stake, sighed and made the call.

Aldemir’s Big Slick was racing against Stark’s pocket nines as the dealer prepped for action. The J-6-4-Q flop and turn kept Stark in the lead but offered other outs for Aldemir (any Ace, any King and the tens in the deck). Sure enough, a King came on the river to cruelly take the hand from Stark and deposit the chips into Aldemir’s lap.

While Stark was flaming out, Peters quietly led an attack that soon saw him take over the lead. He flopped the nut flush against Jean Ateba to push his stack to 1.47 million and eclipsed the two million chip mark when he took a pot off Uladzimir Anoshka. Although he would have a slight misstep in doubling up Patryk Poterek, that would be the last mistake that the 2016 Poker Player of the Year would make. Peters eliminated Helio Chreem in 21st place and Milyaev in 19th place to crack the three million mark. No one else would get to Peters as the final hand of the night dramatically shut down the action.

Maria Lampropulos had been active throughout the day and, after opening from the hijack position, Boeree challenged her with a three bet. Lampropulos four-bet the former European Poker Tour champion, but it was only a min-raise from 100K to 200K. Boeree read this for weakness and, after some contemplation, moved all in. Without making a sound, Lampropulos pushed a stack out to indicate a call and the hands were turned up:

Lampropulos:  pocket Kings
Boeree:  pocket Queens

Nothing changed on the A-J-J-7-A board and Boeree’s ladies were crushed by Lampropulos’ cowboys. As Boeree headed to the cage for her 17th place payout, Lampropulos added the 670K pot to her stack and must be seen as a challenger for Peters on Day 5:

1. David Peters, 3.105 million
2. Maria Lampropulos, 2.313 million
3. Adalfer Morales Gamarra, 1.916 million
4. Jonathan West, 1.656 million
5. Koray Aldemir, 1.42 million
6. Christian Rudolph, 1.285 million
7. Shawn Buchanan, 992,000
8. Michael Farrow, 981,000
9. Patryk Poterek, 918,000
10. Bartosz Stasiewicz, 624,000

It’s going to be difficult for anyone to come from beneath Stasiewicz and challenge for the final table, but Day 2 chip leader Oleg Titov (488K) and Mateos (236K) are ones to watch if it is to happen. Outside of Peters and Lampropulos, watch Aldemir and West; they have been hovering around the upper reaches of the tournament since it started and are playing outstanding poker.

PokerStars TV will have all the action of the final two tables as the players look to get down to the final table. Action begins at noon on Saturday as the remaining 16 players battle it out for the first-place prize of slightly more than a million dollars.

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