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Online Rounders Dominate PCA Final
Looking every bit like an online tournament with the exception of one veteran live player on an incredible streak, the final table of the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure was set in the Bahamas Sunday.
The chip leader going in will be the same man who led the final 24, Ryan “g0lfa” D’Angelo.
An online pro for the past six years, D’Angelo has two PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker titles on his resume, but his live experience also includes a third-place finish at a World Series of Poker $2k event in 2008.
Considering the more than 750 online qualifiers at the event and the wealth of online players in the field, D’Angelo said the 2010 PCA has played a lot more like an online MTT than your typical live tournament.
“In a lot of other tournaments you can’t get away with raise sizes like you would online,” he said. “Here it plays pretty much like an online tournament. A lot of three-betting and cold four-betting. I really haven’t taken part in that though. I guess I’m not as crazy as some of these younger Internet kids here who just spit fire and get in there with nothing.”
Thanks to the flopped queen he used to crack EPT Founder John Duthie’s aces and rake a ten-million-chip pot, another online pro will come into Monday’s final eight second in chips.
Morton, Illinois’ Ty Reiman has almost $1 million in online earnings and actually won the first live tournament he ever played at the Heartland Poker Tour’s Turning Stone $1k in 2007.
Like D’Angelo, he feels the PCA has played much like an online tournament so far.
“I really don’t feel like it’s that different from any other online tournament,” he said. “Maybe it’s just because that queen hasn’t really set in yet.”
Fellow U.S. online regulars Tom Koral, Harrison Gimbel, Benjamin Zamani and Zachary Goldberg join PokerStars qualifier Aage Floenes Ravn from Norway in rounding out the final eight.
But it’s 2009 WSOPE champ and CardPlayer publisher Barry Shulman who will come into the final table third in chips and on the hottest streak of his poker career.
The suddenly resurgent Shulman won a WSOP bracelet in 2001 before most of these players had even heard of poker.
Now, despite being the least experienced player when it comes to the online style, he appears to have adapted.
“Historically I play better against better players,” he explained. “(The WSOPE) was the toughest field I’ve ever played with. It was impossible to find people just dumping off chips. Here is a whole different story, because it’s such an aggressive situation.
“My own play was actually the same, but this was different because they just play so differently. There is so much action versus what I saw in London.”
The action could slow down when the final table begins, however, as the online players adapt a strategy similar to playing Sit & Go’s.
“I tend to play final tables like a Sit & Go,” said D’Angelo. “I just like to see what everyone is doing, try and feel everybody out and play a solid game. Once the blinds get higher that’s when we start moving chips.”
“The table is really good,” added Reiman. “There are a lot of online players who I’ve played with. I’m just going to try and play my game, not get into too many big pots and let the smaller stacks dwindle out. Then, once we’re four-handed or five handed, we go to battle.”
To follow all the action and see who takes down the 2010 PCA and its $2.2 million first-place prize, tune in to PokerListings’ Live Updates beginning at 12 p.m ET Monday.