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Third Time's a Charm: Molson Finally Wins PCA High Roller
Canadian high-stakes cash pro Will Molson put a fitting cap on the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Sunday by finally getting over the high-roller hump.
After finishing second in the $25,000 High Roller at the PCA the past two years, Molson won it this time around and could not have been more excited to finally book a win in the Bahamas.
"It feels amazing, what a relief," he said after beating Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez heads up to collect the $1,072,850 first prize.
"When I got heads up I tried not to think about it too much, but it was hard. I really put a lot of pressure on myself. I wanted to lose that second place tag."
The $25k event drew a healthy 151 players this time around, breaking its own attendance record, almost doubling the size of last year's 84-player field and creating a massive $3,995,500 prize pool.
They played down to 97 Friday, through Saturday and began Sunday with 12 players remaining, Jason Mercier holding the lead and Molson in the bottom half of the draw.
He persevered, however, through a tough final 12 that included 2010 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Erik Seidel, 2010 CardPlayer Player of the Year Tom Marchese, EPT Player of the Year Max Lykov, 2010 WSOP Main Event final table bubble boys Brandon Steven and Matt Affleck and fellow 2009 PCA $25k finalist Matt Marafioti.
Eventually Molson moved up to take the lead at the final table and after entering the heads-up match with a massive chip lead, outclassed Fernandez in every way.
The only bump in the road was a huge suckout by Fernandez with seven-nine versus queens all in pre flop that had to have Molson thinking he was cursed and destined to finish second again.
"That was definitely going through my mind," he said. "I was pretty down at that point, but luckily I had my Dad here to encourage me and make me hang in. I just had to grind through it."
Grind through it he did, making a flush out of two overs all in against Fernadez' pair of fives, then taking a massive lead getting it in with aces against ace-three and finally holding.
Fernadez eventually shoved jack-high and after Molson made the call with an ace and held again, the title he had been so close to winning twice before was finally his.
"I've had a lot of success in high rollers," said Molson, who actually plays very few live tournaments.
"It's a really nice structure, a deep structure and I find it elevates my game playing against the best players.
"I'm on that throught process a lot playing high stakes cash games, so I feel right at home here."
Here's how the final 12 finished up:
1 Will Molson $1,072,850
2 Leo Fernandez $544,925
3 Max Lykov $369,950
4 Erik Seidel $295,950
5 Govert Metaal $240,470
6 David "Bakes" Baker $203,475
7 Matt Marafioti $166,480
8 Jason Mercier $129,480
9 Shander de Vries $110,985
10 Brandon Steven $110,985
11 Tom Marchese $92,490
12 Matt Affleck $92,490