“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.” That was one of our final sentences from yesterday’s report on the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event and, sure enough, it came to pass. After 13 hours of play on Saturday, three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and former European Poker Tour champion Adrian Mateos emerged as the chip leader going to Sunday’s final table.
16 players started the day on Saturday with 2016 Poker Player of the Year David Peters sitting high on the top of the leaderboard. He was the only player over the three million chip mark (3.105 million), but Maria Lampropulos (2.313 million) and Adalfer Morales Gamarra (1.196 million) were willing to take on the challenge. You had to look way down the leaderboard to see Mateos, who came into Day 5 with only 236,000 in chips and looked to be one of those players heading for the rail quickly on Saturday.
Instead of exiting the Atlantis Resort Spa tournament room early, however, Mateos fought tooth and nail to stay in the event. The Spaniard check shoved his stack on the river against Jonathan West on a 9-5-6 flop to breathe some life into his stack and was able to double up through Daniel Coupal when his A-3 caught against Coupal’s pocket eights on a Q-A-10-K-Q board. Those two hands got Mateos healthy and near a million chips (919K) as the afternoon wore on.
Instead of Mateos hitting the rail, some of his fellow competitors took his place. Gamarra took down Florian Maurer in fifteenth place when Gamarra rivered a Queen with his A-Q to knock off Maurer’s pocket sixes out. The big action was at the top as players shuffled through the leader’s chair, however, as nobody seemed to get a firm grasp of the leaderboard.
Shawn Buchanan made the first big move, jumping to the lead after doubling up to 1.65 million through Gamarra. Then Michael Farrow took over the lead after eliminating Jean Ateba in fourteenth place. Lampropulos was up next, battling with Oleg Titov and coming out on the winning side to push her to 2.63 million. Finally, it was Koray Aldemir’s turn to sit at the helm, betting Farrow off the pot to crack the three million mark. This was in the span of 20 minutes!
Stasiewicz never could get anything going, ultimately dropping from the tournament in thirteenth place at the hands of Buchanan. Aldemir, still holding on to the lead, extended it in eliminating Jonathan West in twelfth place and climbing to 5.455 million. Mateos also continued his climb upward, once again using an A-3 but this time against Peters’ pocket nines, on an A-8-8-5-Q board to reach almost two million in chips; Peters could not come back from this beat, eventually falling in eleventh place at the hands of Coupal as his A-J failed against Coupal’s Big Slick.
While Peters was picking up his eleventh-place money ($75,640), the unofficial final table was set. Gamarra was one of the very active players during the day’s play and he was unfazed when he took his A-10 off suit against Farrow’s pocket fives. The flop was clean, but the Ace on the turn changed fortunes. Farrow, looking for one of the two fives left in the deck, instead saw a ten give Gamarra two pair and send Farrow out in tenth place.
Now at one table, the tournament wasn’t “official” yet. There was one more player that needed to be eliminated for that and three more to reach the goal set at the start of the day (six handed). Aldemir was the dominant leader at this point, his 5.915 million chips over Lampropulos’ 2.875 million, and Mateos was still in the lower levels of the leaderboard with his 1.16 million stack. The final nine headed off and, stunningly, Mateos went on a rush.
Lampropulos made the table official with her elimination of Patryk Poterek in ninth place, but the first two dozen hands were uneventful other than that. On Hand 58, however, Aldemir would lose the lead to Lampropulos when he couldn’t beat Titov pocket Queens with an A-7 off suit. Titov, however, turned around and doubled up Buchanan to make the Canadian a threat in the tournament. After taking a break following the 63rd hand of the final table, there were still eight players left.
Buchanan would use those newfound chips to mount his own charge to the lead. By the end of the next break (Hand 89), Buchanan had passed both Lampropulos and Aldemir to take over the lead. Another 90 minutes of action, however, would tell a different story.
Mateos started his march to the top by first knocking out Gamarra when Mateos’ flopped pair of eights survived the open-ended straight draw of Gamarra. Now on 3.71 million chips, Mateos stayed on the offensive, taking more chips from Aldemir when he sneakily played pocket Kings for all their worth on an 6-9-Q-6-6 board. After that hand, Mateos had won four of the previous seven hands and was in the lead with more than five million chips.
The news wasn’t so good for Titov, who was the Day 2 chip leader. His chip stack slowly slipped through his fingers until he was down to his last 600K or so in chips. After Coupal moved all in from the button on his small blind, however, Titov thought he found a point to make a stand. It turned out to be the wrong move – Coupal held a decent A-J off suit on the button but Titov could only muster a K-2 off suit for the battle. An Ace came on the flop (along with a deuce), but no one else would get anything on the trey turn and the eight river. As Titov shook hands and realized he was the television table “bubble boy,” Mateos was in firm control of the festivities.
1. Adrian Mateos, 5.675 million
2. Shawn Buchanan, 3.755 million
3. Maria Lampropulos, 3.505 million
4. Koray Aldemir, 2.34 million
5. Daniel Coupal, 1.275 million
6. Christian Rudolph, 905,000
The final table promises to be an excellent battle between players who have been on both sides of the fortune scale. Mateos’ battle back from the short stack is evident, but Buchanan, Lampropulos, Aldemir and Coupal have been fortunate to stay in the upper echelon of the leaderboard for much of the tournament. Rudolph was up in that group but, since he has sunk to the short stack, it isn’t realistic to see him winning this championship. That’s why they play tournaments to the end, however…
Today’s final table will be running simultaneously with the $25,000 High Roller action, so the PokerStars TV crew will be stretched covering both events. Beginning at 3:30PM (Bahamas time, 2:30PM Eastern time), the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event final table will play out with everyone guaranteed a big six figure payout ($229,760) and a new Hendon Mob flag. The top prize is the goal, though, where $1,081,100 awaits the eventual champion.