Normally when people take a trip to the Caribbean, they are going for the change in weather. Canadian poker pro and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Sam Greenwood’s trip to the 2017 Caribbean Poker Party presented by partypoker might have started out as a pleasure trip, but Greenwood quickly made it a profitable business trip in cashing in two big tournaments and winning a third, the $5000 MILLIONS Main Event.
Last week, Greenwood was taking part in the first event of the tournament, the $10,000 High Rollers event with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool. Out of the 103-player field, Greenwood would make the final table with Jonathan Little, Kenny Hallaert, Pascal LeFrancois and Steffen Sontheimer, just to name a few of the competitors. Greenwood worked his way to the final three before departing in third place for a payday of $124,100.
That wasn’t enough for Greenwood. A couple of days later, Greenwood was back in the saddle for the $25,000 Super High Roller event on the MILLIONS schedule. The 43-entry field was perhaps a bit deficient in numbers, but it wasn’t deficient in the quality of players. This time around, Greenwood would outlast fellow final table finishers Sam Trickett, Adrian Mateos, Rafael Moraes and Sontheimer to reach heads up against Christopher ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen. After an extensive heads up battle, Greenwood would succumb to Hunichen’s aggression and finish in second for a $242,750 payday.
Greenwood must have figured that the “third time was the charm” because he dived into the $5000 MILLIONS Main Event and its $5 million guaranteed prize pool. 12 players came back on Saturday looking to take the $1 million prize for winning the tournament. Differing from his previous forays into the High Roller tournaments, Greenwood (193.9 million) was the massive chip leader as the penultimate day of the tournament began. Way back in the rearview mirror were such players as Jonas Gjelstad (117.7 million), Jason Koon (93.8 million), Felipe Ramos (77.8 million) and Preben Stokkan (99 million), who won the $10K High Roller that Greenwood was a part of.
Gjelstad rocketed out of the gate, knocking off two players to crack the 200 million mark (249.5 million, to be exact) as the remaining nine men came together for the final table. Gjelstad would prove to be as adept at giving up the chips as taking them as Stokkan took two pots from his fellow countryman to take over the lead himself. By the time the first break of the day came, there were still nine players left but they were getting ready to mix it up.
That ability to “mix it up” almost cost Greenwood the tournament. Although he would get back into the mix by flopping a straight against Damian Lomza, he would double up the dangerous Andrey Shatilov into the lead and drop to only 28 million chips. Playing a K-9 off suit off the button and seeing Shatilov defend his big blind with a Q-J, Greenwood fired on every street of a Q-5-2-8-7 board, with Shatilov calling every street to take the humongous pot.
That was the last misstep that Greenwood would make. He doubled through Jiri Horak and Stokkan to get back to 143 million chips, then cracked the 200 million mark again against Shatilov. Shatilov, however, was giving everyone action as he eliminated Udo Erlei in seventh and busted Horak in fourth to maintain his stack.
Greenwood would continue to chase Shatilov, bringing the action to two players after knocking off Gjelstad in third. After coming back from a dinner break, Shatilov’s 598 million stack dwarfed that of Greenwood (449 million), but the Canadian went right to work. On the first hand of heads up, Greenwood sniffed out a Shatilov bluff to take the hand and the lead from the Russian and he wouldn’t look back. Although it would take slightly more than an hour, Greenwood would eventually emerge as the champion when his pocket Kings held up over Shatilov’s 9♣ 8♣ after the flop came 8-6-4-3-5.
1. Sam Greenwood, $1,000,000
2. Andrey Shatilov, $650,000
3. Jonas Gjelstad, $450,000
4. Jiri Horak, $315,850
5. Felipe Ramos, $220,000
6. Preben Stokkan, $150,000
7. Udo Erlei, $100,000
8. Dan Dizenzo, $70,000
Just for the record, Greenwood in one week finished third, second and first in three consecutive tournaments, bringing in a neat $1,366,850 for his efforts. It would push the annals of poker history to find someone who had a similar run of tournaments during the same festival, let alone the same week.