PokerStars Caribbean Adventure ends on a high

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ATLANTIS, PARADISE ISLAND, THE BAHAMAS, January 14, 2010 - An extraordinary ten days of poker at the seventh annual PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas drew to a close last night with William Reynolds of Iowa, USA becoming the new PCA High Roller Champion.

The $25k event, broadcast live on www.pokerStars.tv, was the crown jewel in a schedule which overall boasted over 50 events and attracted more than 6,000 entries making this year's PCA festival the biggest tournament series outside of Las Vegas.

Reynolds, 21, who came fourth at EPT San Remo last season, wins $576,240 after beating Canadian pro Will Molson, who was runner-up last year as well. A total of 84 players entered the event, creating a total prize pool of $2,058,000. 

Reynolds said: "I feel ecstatic. It was the most rollercoaster of a ride I've ever been on. I was all-in so many times on Day 3, I thought I would be the final table bubble."

High stakes cash game pro and 2009 World Series Ladies Champion Lisa Hamilton came fifth in the event, one of only two women to enter. Her $133,770 prize was the most that has ever been won by a woman at the PCA. The other female player was Team PokerStars PRO Sandra Naujoks who finished ninth for $56,995. 2009 World Champion and fellow pro Joe Cada bust in 11th place. 

The $10k PCA Main Event attracted record numbers this year with 1,529 competing from 57 countries creating a total prize pool of $14,831,300. PokerStars ran thousands of satellites in the months leading up to the January 4 kick-off with 741 players winning their $15k trip to the Caribbean online. The event also attracted more than 150 media - from TV stations, radio, newspapers and websites around the world.

Harrison Gimbel, 19, became the event's youngest ever champion when he beat fellow American online pro Ty Reiman to win the $2.2 million first prize. He won his seat in a $1k satellite on the eve of the Main Event. CardPlayer owner and WSOP-E champion Barry Shulman came third. Cracked aces knocked EPT founder and Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie out of the tournament in 12th place for $130k.

Team PokerStars Pros also thrived at the PCA: Vanessa Rousso won the $1k Ladies Event for $24,725. The 91-strong field included 33 women who won their trips to the Bahamas on PokerStars. William Thorson won the PLO $5k event while Benjamin Kang and his friend Mathias Kuerschner won the PL
Hold'em/PLO Tag Team event. Katja Thater won the $1k 8 Game tournament for $10,475 while fellow pro Pieter de Korver, the EPT Grand Final champion, won the $1k No Limit 6 Max for $ 110,050. Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki from Poland cashed in three events for a total of $21,855.

A total of 55 Team PokerStars Pros attended the event including poker legend Daniel Negreanu, world champion Joe Cada, former world champions Peter Eastgate, Greg Raymer, Tom McEvoy and Chris Moneymaker.. Mike Kosowski, 9/11 hero and winner of the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge also competed, alongside Team PokerStars SportStars  Boris Becker, Swedish NHL star Mats Sundin and Dutch hockey pro Fatima Moreira De Melo.Baseball legend Orel Hershiser and UK football legend Teddy Sheringham also competed.

Charity was a major theme at this year's PCA with the amfAR and PokerStars charity tournament http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/pca/2010/2010-pca-amfar-tournament-qualifiers-tit-062995.html attracting numerous stars from the world of sport and entertainment including Entourage star Adrian "Vince" Grenier, hip hop singer Nelly,  Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash and Destiny's Child founder Kelly Rowland. Carlos Bernard - "Tony Almeida" in "24", US talk show host Montel Williams, NHL Olympic medalist Mats Sundin and Dutch hockey pro Fatima Moreira de Melo all made the final table. The tournament raised nearly $150,000 for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS research and was won by PokerStars qualifier Spencer Benjafield.

The Haiti earthquake disaster happened just before the PCA ended and PokerStars immediately set up an appeal to raise funds for victims http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/2010/pokerstars-sets-up-haiti-earthquake-appe-063299.html. The Haiti Fund was promoted continuously during the last day of live broadcast from the PCA with PokerStars matching all player donations. More than $100,000 was raised in just a few hours.

The PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour (http://www.napt.com) was launched at the PCA with the Bahamas forming the first stop. The next event will be at The Venetian Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas next from February 20-24, 2010 followed by the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut from  April 7-11, 2010.