February 05, 2011 08:56 ET

Galen Hall Wins $2.3 Million at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 5, 2011) - American poker pro Galen Hall has won the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $2.3 million. The 24-year-old from San Francisco overturned a 5:1 chip lead to beat 21-year-old Floridian Chris Oliver after a final lasting more than nine hours.

Hall said: 'I feel pretty awesome. It still hasn't set in yet. We played heads-up for a really long time so I haven't been thinking about the win. Up until this event, I've been a very terrible live tournament player. I have a pretty impressive track record of busting on Day 1a Hall is going to Stanford University in the Fall to study for an MBA but he aims to play some EPT or NAPT events before then. As part of his prize, Hall also wins a seat into next year's PCA which takes place January 5-15, 2012.

Runner-up Chris Oliver won his seat to the PCA online on PokerStars, turning a $920 investment into an $1.8 million cash.

The PCA is now by far the biggest poker event outside Las Vegas a massive festival comprising 48 events and attracting thousands of poker players from all over the world. In total, this year's events have attracted over 7,800 entries with more than $32 million prize money awarded.

The year's $10,000 Main Event narrowly beat last year's record - a total of 1,560 players competed creating a $15,132,000 prize pool. Team PokerStars Pro and 2003 world champion Chris Moneymaker nearly made the final, busting in 11th place for $130,000. He was followed by the last surviving woman in the event Spanish student Ana Marquez, whose tenth place finish for $155,000 was the highest-ever finish for a woman in the PCA.

The first of the 232 players to cash was PokerStars-sponsored WSOP finalist Jason Senti. Seven members of Team PokerStars Pro also made the money, as well as Brazilian tennis pro Gustavo Kuerten - 197th for $15,000 - and Brazilian footballer Paulo Rink, 27th for $66,000. Spanish pro golfer Sergio Garcia also competed but failed to cash. PokerStars qualifier Anton Ionel from Romania won his seat in a $33 rebuy tourney on PokerStars and came third for $1,350,000.

American pro Eugene Katchalov took down the record-breaking $100,000 Super High Roller for $1.5m after beating Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu heads-up. The event was the biggest buy-in event PokerStars has ever hosted and, with 38 entrants, was also the biggest ever turn-out for a $100k event. Negreanu's $1 m cash for second place was enough to regain the top spot from rival Phil Ivey in the all-time live tournament money list.

The record field at this year's PCA included 734 players who won their seats online with PokerStars. Sami Aro from Finland won his seat in the Mega-Path satellite series after investing just 100 Frequent Player Points and cashed for $23,500. Israeli Tomer Aminpour qualified for 40 FPPs and won $17,500 while Dutch player Michel Leijenaar won his seat for 200 FPPs and won $15,000. The Mega-Path satellite series for next year's PCA (January 5-15, 2012) starts tomorrow (Monday, January 17).

The roll call of top players included former PCA and PCA High Roller champion Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier who min-cashed this year, world champion Jonathan Duhamel and former world champions Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, Carlos Mortensen, Moneymaker and Tom McEvoy.

One of the highlights of this year's PCA was the much-anticipated unveiling of Team PokerStars Pro's newest member, the legendary online phenom Isildur1. Isildur1 was signed in December but his identity was kept secret until Day 1a of the PCA when he was revealed as 20-year-old Swedish pro Viktor Blom. PokerStars celebrated the event by hosting a 100-hand $25/$50 heads-up match between Blom and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, which Blom won.

Other events this week included the $5k PokerStars PLO Championship, won by Canadian Sam Chartier for $99,330) and the $2k No Limit event, which attracted 476 runners and was won by Will Failla for $241,950). The $5,250 PokerStars Heads-Up Championship was won by Pieter de Vries for $120,000 and the $1k Ladies event won by writer Kristin Bihr for $29k. The televised $5,250 NAPT Bounty Shoot Out concludes later today as does the $25k High Roller which attracted a staggering 151 players.

The PCA also hosted the second PokerStars/amfAR charity celebrity tournament which raised over $50k for the AIDS research charity. More than 50 players took part including actor Verne Troyer, actress Ricki Lake, Entourage star Kevin Dillon, former NBA basketball star John Salley, TV personality Jayde Nicole and golfer Sergio Garcia.

Jeffrey Haas, MD of Global Poker Tours Ltd, said: The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is our flagship event and continues to grow year on year. But our pride in this event is not just about breaking records; it's also about providing players from all over the world with an incredible experience, whether they're high rollers, online pros or recreational players playing in their very first live event.

  Name Country PokerStars status
1 Galen Hall USA   $2,300,000
2 Chris Oliver USA PokerStars qualifier $1,800,000
3 Anton Ionel Romania PokerStars qualifier $1,350,000
4 Sam Stein USA PokerStars qualifier $1,000,000
5 Mike Sowers USA PokerStars player $700,000
6 Bolivar Palacios Panama PokerStars player $450,000
7 Max Weinberg USA   $300,000
8 Phillipe Plouffe Canada PokerStars qualifier $202,000

The next PokerStars live event is European Poker Tour Deauville in northern France from January 25-31, 2011. For more information, please visit

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