PCA and PSPC Close Out in the Bahamas: European Players Take the Glory
Last Updated: November 6, 2023
The biggest poker festival of 2023 so far has wrapped up in the Bahamas, with PokerStars once again showing their incredible skill in hosting live poker events.
Between January 22 and February 3, the beautiful Baha Mar Resort in Nassau played host to the PCA festival and the return of the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC), with both recording some amazing numbers and creating an electric atmosphere.
New champions were named and millions of dollars changed hands over the course of the two weeks many of the world’s best poker players spent in the sunny paradise.
We take a look back at what happened in the Bahamas, who the new champions of PCA and PSPC are, and what big stories made headlines over the last couple of weeks.
PCA Main Event Title Goes to Portugal
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) has been one of the most popular poker festivals for years, but was cancelled by the operator a few years back, before making its return after a four year hiatus.
As expected, the $10,300 PCA Main Event was the most attractive tournament of the festival, with 512 players showing up to play, creating a prize pool of $8,623,300 (with re-entries).
The event brought together professional and amateur players alike, with everyone looking to join the elite circle of PCA Main Event title holders that includes the likes of Gus Hansen, Elky, Galen Hall, Mike Watson, and many others.
After several long days of play, the PCA Main Event came down to just a handful of players, with Jonathan Little, who busted the event in 9th place, being the most notable big-name player to make a deep run.
Yet, the final table was made up of quite a few serious poker pros, with a Portuguese couple of Pedro Neves and Michele Dattini being the last two players standing.
It was interesting for two compatriots from Portugal to make it to heads-up from such a large international field, especially considering the limited number of Portuguese players in the event.
The two made an ICM deal when they came down to heads-up play that gave Dattini a slightly bigger piece of the cake, and he ended up winning the heads-up match and taking down an extra $50,000 and the PCA trophy.
A final hand fitting for the final table that preceded it.
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) January 30, 2023
Dattini got $1,316,963 for his troubles, while Neves cashed out $1,183,037 in prize money, making this the biggest tournament score to date for both players.
High-Rollers Galore at PCA as Isaac Haxton Dominates
Of course, the PCA festival included quite a few events aside of the Main Event, including quite a few high-rollers that brought together the international brain trust of poker players travelling the world and playing poker for millions of dollars.
Out of the group, it was the semi-retired American pro Isaac Haxton who captured the most headlines, as he managed to win not one, but two $100k high-rollers.
Haxton kicked off the PCA in the best way possible, taking down the opening $100k high-roller on January 24 and winning just north of $1 million after beating Seth Davies in heads-up play.
The American pro closed the action in the same fashion, winning the $100k 7-handed high roller, which was the last of the series, and winning another $1.55 million after a heads-up match with fellow pro Fedor Holz.
Got 2nd for a million dollars, happy ending
— Fedor Holz 🐧 (@CrownUpGuy) February 4, 2023
Along with another deep finish in the $25k high-roller, Ike won close to $3,000,000 on the trip, once again demonstrating why he is one of the best poker players in the world today.
It was a great series for others as well, as Sam Greenwood managed to capture the biggest score of PCA, taking down $3.27 million in the $250k Super High-Roller event played out between January 31 and February 2.
The likes of Jonathan Jaffe, Justin Bonomo, and Ognyan Dimov also booked wins of their own, making the festival a huge success for the high-roller community as a whole.
The PSPC Nearly Breaks Records
As PCA tournaments came and went, it was the return of PSPC that was making all the headlines and creating all the buzz over the past days.
The biggest $25k of the year kicked off on January 29 and eventually brought together 1,014 runners, over 400 of whom had a seat in the PSPC thanks to winning the coveted PokerStars Platinum Pass.
PSPC created a truly international field with over a thousand players from every corner of the world showing up to test their skills and play for a chance at the massive first-place prize.
European players dominated the late stage, with Belarusian Aliaksandr Shylko eventually walking away with the most coveted trophy and just over $3.1 million in prize money.
He defeated German Max Menzel in heads-up play following a 3-way ICM deal that also included Brazilian player Philipe Pinto. The two cashed out $2.8 and $2.5 million for their super-deep runs.
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) February 4, 2023
The PSPC will remain a painful memory for Argentinian pro Nacho Barbero, who had a commanding lead going into the final table but ended up busting fourth for $1.55 million, still the biggest tournament score of his career.
With PSPC being put to bed, action in the brilliant new PCA/PSPC venue of Baha Mar was done, giving everyone who was involved plenty of great memories to take back home.
All that remains now is to wait for the announcement of the next PokerStars festival in the Caribbean and new opportunities to win the ultimate poker bonus Platinum Pass and play for the ultimate poker dream.