The first of Maria Lampropulos’ recorded live tournament results dates back to only late 2014. For more than two years, she had just one cash that broke the five-figure mark; most were for less than $10,000 (my usual disclaimer applies: I would do morally ambiguous things to have a poker resume like that). In April 2017, she broke through, winning partypoker MILLIONS Nottingham for $1.255 million. The rest of the year, it was back to four- and five-figure cashes. But who cares when the times you hit one, you hit it BIG? Yesterday, Maria Lampropulos did it again, winning the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event, good for $1.081 million.
Lampropulos was in solid shape going into the six-handed final table, sitting third in chips with 3.505 million. Reigning Player of the Year Adrian Mateos was the chip lead with 5.675 million, while Shawn Buchanan was second with 3.755 million. Rounding out the final table were Koray Aldemir (2.34 million), Daniel Coupal (2.34 million), and Christian Rudolph (905,000).
As expected, Rudolph was the first to go, moving all-in after Lampropulos raised pre-flop. They both hit a piece of the flop, but Lampropulos’ pocket Sixes improved to a set whie Rudolph’s A-8 only improved to a pair of 8’s. Nothing the rest of the way helped him and Rudolph was out in sixth place. That hand also elevated Lampropulos to a temporary chip lead with 5.4 million chips. A few hands later, she gave a third of it back, losing a big hand to Buchanan.
After a break, on just Hand 16 of the final table, Daniel Coupal was eliminated in fifth place when his desperation 4-8 suited fell to Buchana’s K-J.
Then, on Hand 31, Buchanan took out Adrian Mateos in fourth place. Buchanan had 8-5 of diamonds and Mateos A-K offsuit, so it didn’t look like much of a matchup. The 6-Q-K two-diamond flop, though, gave Buchanan confidence and the two men got into a raising war until Mateos was all-in and Buchanan called. The 4d on the turn gave Buchanan a flush and knocked Mateos out of the tournament. The hand also gave Buchanan a commanding lead going into three-handed play, as his 11.310 million chips were twice that of the other two players combined.
He maintained that lead until Hand 67, when Koray Aldemir bluffed him off of two pair (A-7) on the river. Buchanan got his revenge, though, quickly taking back the lead and then eliminated Aldemir on Hand 96 with A-8 over K-7.
Going into heads-up Buchanan had Lampropulos doubled, 11.775 million to 5.675 million. He extended the lead a bit, pushing Lampropulos’ stack below 4 million, but Lampropulos suddenly doubled-up twice in a span of three hands to flip the table. Now it was Buchanan with fewer than 4 million chips.
A few hands later, it was over. His stack down to a nub, he limped with K-5 and Lampropulos moved all-in with T-7 suited. Buchanan called because, well, you have to do it some time. A Ten landed on the flop to give Lampropulos the lead in the hand. Buchanan couldn’t find a King and the tournament was over, Maria Lampropulos crowned as the news PCA champion.
2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event – Final Table Results
1. Maria Lampropulos – $1,081,100
2. Shawn Buchanan – $672,960
3. Koray Aldemir – $481,560
4. Adrian Mateos – $372,600
5. Daniel Coupal – $293,560
6. Christian Rudolph – $229,760