PCA $25k As Tough As It Gets

Lisa Hamilton
'It’s such a different story that I can’t even comment on it, because it wouldn’t be nice.'

Running deep in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25k High Roller event appears to be a whole different challenge than winning a World Championship.

“It’s a really tough field, there aren’t many weak spots at all, but that’s what you are going to get from a $25k buy-in,” said Joe Cada, who followed up his 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event with an 11th place finish at the PCA $25k Wednesday.

“In the Main Event you’ve got a lot of people wanting to play just because it’s the Main Event, the hype of it, the TV coverage and there are so many satellites. It’s the biggest tournament of the year and there are so many people just playing it to play in it.”

2009 WSOP Ladies No Limit Hold’em World Champion Lisa Hamilton, who retains a chance to win the High Roller heading into the final eight Thursday, said comparing the 1,060 person field in her WSOP Ladies Championship win to the 84 top pros in the PCA $25k is like comparing apples and oranges.

“It’s a different story,” she said. “It’s a totally different story. It’s such a different story that I can’t even comment on it, because it wouldn’t be nice.”

Consensus seems to be that a small field filled with some of the best players on the planet can be even tougher to wade through than the almost 6,500 who entered the Main Event this year, simply based on the lack of dead money.

“Here no one is just going to give you their chips,” said Cada. “So it’s a little different strategy.

“You have to adjust to your table and how everyone is playing and how they perceive how you are playing. There are a few different variables going on with better players. You can think more analytically, think about what they’re thinking, what is the best way to represent a bluff or the best way to represent a hand, whereas against a bad player, in the Main Event, you might just play more straightforward.”

Despite the quality of the field, Hamilton, who plays more high stakes cash games than tournaments, is joined in the final eight by a group of seven other players who are also less than household names.

However, German Tobias Reinkemeier, who has cashed in all five EPT’s he's played so far this season, Canadian Matt “ADZ124” Marafioti, who plays high stakes cash online and went deep at both WPT Legends and the WSOP $40k this summer, and Canadian Will Molson, who made runner up here last year, are all considered great players.

As are Uruguay’s Adolfo Vaeza, who made fourth at the EPT London High Roller, the USA’s William Reynolds, who final tabled EPT San Remo, Dutchman Michiel Brummelhuis, an online MTT regular and WCOOP title holder and Russian Dmitry Stelmak, who took down a $3k WPT prelim at Bellagio last year.

To follow all the action until a PCA High Roller champion is crowned, tune into PokerListings’ Live Updates beginning at 12 p.m. ET Thursday.

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