Because I live in a place devoid of both brick-and-mortar poker rooms and (legal, regulated) online poker, I do not play much poker these days. When I did play frequently, one of the highlights of my poker life was when my boss bought me into a $100 re-buy tournament that our site (the former parent of this site) sponsored. I proceeded to bust him and use his original buy-in plus re-buys to go on and finish third for around $3,000. I was freerolling the entire time, so I was generally quite relaxed and it felt great to go home with such a nice wad of Benjamins. I cannot imagine, though, what it must feel like for the two players at the final table of the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas who were awarded entries to the tournament via Platinum Pass. Holy shit, what a freeroll.
Marc Rivera, sitting in second place going into the final table with 10.350 million chips, and Ramon Colillas, in fifth place with 8.300 million, both won Platinum Passes from PokerStars over the course of the last twelve months, prize packages which included the $25,000 buy-in and travel expenses. Rivera won his in a $600 buy-in tournament, while Colillas earned his by earning the most points on the Spain live tour leaderboard.
Now they are both guaranteed half a million dollars and are very, very live for the $5.1 million first prize.
Rivera has a bit over $300,000 in live tournament winnings, while Colillas has less than $11,000, according to the HendonMob.com. This is life-changing money for guys like them and again, they are on total freerolls.
Rivera said it was actually a fairly easy road all day for him, with only one point where his stack took any real dip.
It should be a hell of a battle on Thursday at the eight-handed final table. The chip leader is Scott Baumstein – who also lead going into Wednesday – with 10.725 million chips, barely more than Rivera. Between those two and Colillas are Julien Martini (8.600 million) and Day 2 chip leader Farid Jattin (8.525 million), so as you can see by the numbers, it is a really tight race. I fully expect chip positions to change frequently on Thursday.
I find it interesting that the in addition to Baumstein and Jattin, Day 1 chip leader Talal Shakerchi is still in it (5.500 million chips). It is not often you see so many day-end chip leaders at the final table of a large event, especially when two of them were early day leaders.
Baumstein almost didn’t make it this far. During Level 28, he raised for 225,000 pre-flop with A-T, after which Florian Duta re-raised to 775,000. Baumstein then shoved for 4.410 million, perhaps surprised when Duta called him after a little thought. Seeing that Duta had Jacks, Baumstein prepared to leave, but he flopped one of the remaining three Aces to escape and double-up.
2019 PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) Final Table Chip Counts
1. Scott Baumstein – 10,725,000
2. Marc Rivera – 10,350,000
3. Julien Martini – 8,600,000
4. Farid Jattin – 8,525,000
5. Ramon Colillas – 8,300,000
6. Jason Koonce – 7,125,000
7. Talal Shakerchi – 5,500,000
8. Pedro Padhila – 2,675,000
9. Marc Perrault – 2,275,000