The money bubble popped during Day 3 at the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Thursday, with the first payouts from the $5.8 million prize pool being handed out. There are some that are looking a bit deeper into the payout schedule, however, as poker professional and former Poker Player of the Year David Peters is in pursuit of Sweden’s Karl Stark.
Thursday’s action kicked off with 101 players remaining from the 582-player field, but the mood was tense. Like any tournament that has the money bubble looming at the start of the day, there were those in the crowd whose return would not only be short but unfulfilling. With 87 players receiving a payout, that meant that 14 players would take the walk from the Atlantis Resort Spa’s tournament arena with nothing to show for their efforts.
While those unfortunate souls were being determined, the chip lead changed. Michael Stashin hooked up in a three-way hand with Oliver Weis and Gleidibe Goncalves, with his sweat holding pocket Kings paid off on a Q-5-2-6-5 board. After scooping up the 180K pot, Stashin took over the lead with 565,000 in chips as the drama intensified.
Peters and Stark also began to make their moves during the bubble period. Peters would knock off a tough opponent in Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen to get to 560,000 in chips, while Stark took down Charles Furey prior to the bubble to reach 555,000 in chips. Stashin, however, kept his foot on the pedal in winning a race against Joao Simao (Big Slick vs. pocket Queens) to nearly crack the million-chip mark. As Simao exited the tournament, the board read 90 players left to go.
More than two hours after the day’s start, the field reached the final 88 players and went hand-for-hand. Barry Greenstein had a miraculous double up during the hand-for-hand period, rivering a set of eights against his opponent’s pocket Aces, to stay alive in the event with only 19K in chips. It would take over 90 minutes for the unfortunate “bubble boy” to be determined in Nikita Neliubin, who ran his A? 3? into Luc Greenwood’s A-K off suit. Despite catching two hearts by the turn (and Greenwood hitting trip Kings), Neliubin couldn’t find another heart and was out in 88th place ($0).
With everyone now assured of a $17,500 payday, the cash out cage became a popular place. Gavin O’Rourke, Keith Lehr, Leo Margets, Kevin MacPhee and Harrison Gimbel all hit the rail with some money in their pockets as the tournament wound into the evening. Greenstein was able to grind out that 19K in chips and make it to the next payout level ($22,020), while Liv Boeree and Maria Konnikova both were able to work their way to the end of the night and get the right to bag for Day 4.
The day was marked by the performances of Peters and Stark, however. Both men climbed throughout the Day 3 action and, by the time the final hand was dealt, were the only two men over the million-chip mark. Along with Day 2 leader Oleg Titov, these three men bear the most watching as we move into the endgame for the tournament.
1. Karl Stark, 1.148 million
2. David Peters, 1.117 million
3. Oleg Titov, 938,000
4. Bartosz Stasiewicz, 802,000
5. Jonathan West, 765,000
6. Maria Lampropulos, 758,000
7. Koray Aldemir, 757,000
8. Michael Farrow, 691,000
9. Michael Stashin, 646,000
10. Christian Banz, 621,000

The remaining 43 players will return to the felt this afternoon as they look to find the next champion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. While those that return today earn that $22,020 that Greenstein picked up, the dream for all is to take the million-dollar prize ($1,081,100, to be exact) up top.
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