Sun, sea, sand, non-stop parties, and intense poker action, the partypoker LIVE 2017 Caribbean Poker Party had it all.
Our Chairman Mike Sexton enjoyed himself so much that he couldn’t wait to jot down his thoughts in an article for the partypoker blog where he talked about the fun element of the festival and made the announcement that the Caribbean Poker Party will return in 2018 with a gigantic $10 million guaranteed Main Event!
This year’s Caribbean Poker Party kicked off with the $1,100 MILLIONS Open, which attracted 812 hopefuls to picturesque Punta Cana. With the resort being all-inclusive, it was a surprise that people could tear themselves away from the flowing pina coladas long enough to play for a share of a guaranteed $1 million.
German superstar Rainer Kempe was the man who emerged victorious from the MILLIONS Open, turning his $1,100 into a most impressive $200,000. Team partypoker was well represented during the tournament, with Kristen Bicknell finishing in 84th place for $2,500, our Head of Poker Tom Waters cashing in 54th place for $4,500 and Natalia Breviglieri crashing out in 33rd place for a $5,500 score.
Running alongside the MILLIONS Open was the $10,300 MILLIONS High Roller. As you’d expect from such a high buy-in event, the High Roller entry list read like a who’s who of world poker. Although no Team partypoker members made it into the top 11 places, where the $1 million prize pool was paid out, everyone was treated to a star-studded final table that housed the likes of Steffen Sontheimer, Pascal Lefrancois, World Series of Poker Main Event finalist Kenny Hallaert, Sam Greenwood (more on him later), Jonathan Little and the eventual champion Preben Stokkan. Stokkan banked $275,000 for his victory, the largest cash of his live poker tournament career.
Next on the schedule was the $25,500 Super High Roller and what a tournament that was. Six places were paid in this exclusive event and it was one of our own who almost walked away with the lion’s share of the spoils.
Sam Trickett is no stranger to playing poker for the highest stakes possible so it was no surprise when he took his seat in this massive buy-in event. All eyes were on the partypoker patch sporting Trickett when the final table began, but things didn’t pan out as expected for our hero and he eventually made an all-in bet for his short stack with and was called by eventual champion Chris Hunichen who held . A queen on the flop gave Hunichen the lead and that’s the way it stayed to send Trickett to the rail with a $175,000 score.
It was Hunichen who decimated Trickett’s stack, which forced the all-in bet with king-deuce, but at least the American star put Trickett’s chips to good use because he ran out a worthy winner and collected $400,000.
Then came the $5 million guaranteed MILLIONS Main Event which saw 1,061 entries processed and the guarantee met. Every team partypoker player who was in the Caribbean joined the Main event action and several of them navigated their way through the shark-infested waters to get their hands on some prize money.
Ireland’s Padraig Parkinson bust in 72nd place for $17,500 with the Brazilian sensation that is Joao Simao seeing his tournament come to an abrupt end in 38th place for $27,500. Richard Dubini finished in 30th place and took $30,000 back to Argentina, Mike Sexton banked $34,000 for finishing 24th before Charlie Godwin fell in 19th place for a career-best score of $34,000.
Godwin’s elimination left Jason Koon as the only partypoker representative in the field and we were hopeful of one of our own walking away victorious. Unfortunately, that never happened because Koon found himself all-in with against the of Jonas Gjelstad and he couldn’t come from behind so bust in 10th place for $42,000.
The aforementioned Greenwood was crowned the MILLIONS Main Event champion, a result that not only came with bragging rights among his peers but also a massive $1 million cash prize.
Last, but certainly not least, was the $5,300 MILLIONS Finale, which saw its $1 million guarantee beaten by $47,600. Twenty-three of the 215 entrants were paid with Roberto Romanello cashing in 21st place for $10,000.
By the time the eight-handed final table was set, partypoker had two players still in the hunt for the $250,000 top prize. Head of Poker Tom Waters, who put in the poker performance of his life, eventually bust in fourth place for an impressive $87,600 and we almost had a winner because Anatoly Filatov found himself heads-up against the three-time WSOP bracelet winner Adrian Mateos.
The chip lead exchanged hands several times before Filato began falling behind. Our Russian representative then made a move with and Mateos made the call with . Neither player improved on the board and Filatov was eliminated in second place for $165,000.
Congratulations to everyone who cashed at the 2017 Caribbean Poker Party and commiserations to those who didn’t. A special mention has to go to Sam Greenwood who not only won the MILLIONS Main Event for $1 million, he finished second in the $25,500 Super High Roller for $242,750 and third in the $10,300 High Roller for $124,100, meaning the Canadian returned home with a colossal $1,366,850.
If you missed out on the amazing Caribbean Poker Party do not be disappointed because you’ll have the opportunity to play in the 2018 edition. Those of you who cannot wait another 12 months may want to try qualifying for such events as the MILLIONS Germany, MILLIONS North America, the MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona, or for those of you who prefer the online poker world, the $5 million guaranteed MILLIONS Online.
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