Dimitar Danchev, the man many believe to be the best poker player in Bulgaria, has won the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event and $1.85 million.
Danchev prevailed against American Joel Micka in a hard-fought heads-up match to claim his first major title, and the first major poker victory for any player from Bulgaria.
What started as a 987-strong field just five days ago was whittled down to a winner tonight at Atlantis in the Bahamas with more than $5.4 million awarded to the eight final-table players.
Going into the final hand Danchev enjoyed a roughly three-to-one chip lead and got Micka all-in in a classic race.
It was A-Q for Bulgaria and pocket fours for the US. An ace on the flop was all it took to send the title and the first-place prize to Danchev.
But that hand was only possible thanks to another race won by the Bulgarian not long before.
Micka was in the lead and three-bet from the big blind with A-K, only to have Danchev move all-in with pocket deuces.
Micka snap-called but couldn't improve, taking the chip counts back to near even. From there Danchev steadily increased his lead before ultimately closing out the event.
American Joel Micka finished second.
Here are the full final-table payouts for the 2013 PCA main event:
- 1. Dimitar Danchev - $1,859,000
- 2. Joel Micka - $1,190,000
- 3. Jerry Wong - $725,000
- 4. Jonathan Roy - $560,000
- 5. Owen Crowe - $435,000
- 6. Andrey Shatilov - $325,000
- 7. Yann Dion - $230,000
- 8. Joao Nogueira - $165,900
Joao Nogueira Turns $1.10 into $165,900
Just a few months ago Portugal's Joao Noguiera entered a $1.10 tournament and won his way into a $10 PCA satellite.
Noguiera finished in the top ten in that qualifier and when 2013 rolled around he was on a plane to the Bahamas to play in his first ever live tournament.
And if a free trip to a tropical paradise wasn't enough, Nogueira outlasted 979 other players to make the final table finish 8th for $165,900.
In the end Nogueira three-bet shoved A-6 and got snapped off by Joel Micka with pocket queens.
Nogueira flopped a six but that's as close as he could get to pulling off one of the biggest Cinderella stories in recent memory.
Three Canadians Fall Short of PCA Glory
Jonathan Roy followed up his recent WPT win with a big PCA score.
When this final table began Canadians occupied three of the eight seats but in the end none of them would be able to lay claim to the 2013 PCA title.
Quebec City native Yann Dion was the first Canuck to hit the rail, going out in 7th for $230,000.
Dion, who won the 2012 FTOPS main event for over $450k under his online name yadio1111, moved all-in from under the gun with A-9 and ran into fellow Canuck Jonathan Roy's A-K.
Dion was unable to suck out and was forced to make an early exit from this final table.
Owen Crowe was the next Canadian out, busted in a massive three-way all-in that also knocked out Andrey Shatilov.
Shatilov open-shoved J♣ 8♣ from the button, Crowe re-shoved A♥ 9♣ and Jerry Wong woke up with A♦ K♣ in the big blind.
All three players missed the entire board with Wong's big slick holding up for the double knockout. Crowe took $435,000 for fifth place.
Going the farthest of all three Canadians was recent WPT Montreal champion Jonathan Roy.
The French Canadian won $777k for his WPT victory and added another $560,000 here in the Bahamas.