Poland’s Dominik Panka Wins the 2014 PCA Main Event

Dominik Panka

Poland’s Dominik Panka is the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event champion after emerging as the last man standing after a gruelling 16-hour final table.

Panka, who secured a payout of $1,423,096 for his victory, is now number one in the Polish all-time money listings on The Hendon Mob, overtaking players such as Marcin Wydrowski, Artur Wasek, Jakub Michalak and Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki.

Three hours passed by before the eight-handed final table lost its first player, setting the tempo for the rest of the day’s play. During Level 28, Fabian Ortiz opened to 135,000 from under the gun, only to see Mike “Timex” McDonald three-bet to 325,000. The action folded back to Ortiz who moved all-in and McDonald called, turning over {Q-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} as he did so. Ortiz tabled {A-Spades}{K-Hearts} and when the board ran out {3-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{9-Diamonds} Ortiz’s tournament was over.

Next to go, some four hours later, was Pascal Lefrancois who opened the preflop betting, then four-bet all-in over the top of an Isaac Baron three-bet with what turned out to be {6-Hearts}{6-Spades}. Baron looked him up with {A-Diamonds}{K-Clubs} and was rewarded with the {A-Hearts} on the turn. No six appeared on the river and Lefrancois exited in seventh place.

Six became five with the bust out of another Canadian player in the shape of Shyam Srinivasan, and in unfortunate circumstances too. Srinivasan started the day as the shortest stack and had mounted something of a comeback, but that was cut short when Daniel Gamez opened to 250,000 and Panka called. Srinivasan squeezed all-in for 2.665 million, forcing out Gamez, but Panka called. Panka flipped the {10-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} onto their backs, and was in a whole world of pain against his opponent’s dominating {J-Diamonds}{J-Spades}. Panka improved to a set of tens after the {5-Spades}{A-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} flop came into view, and when the {4-Diamonds} turn and {Q-Diamonds} river failed to come to Srinivasan’s rescue, it was game over for the man who has more than $7 million in online tournament cashes.

Gamez’s was the next head to roll after a clash with McDonald saw him heading to the cashier’s cage to collect fifth place money. Gamez opened to 300,000 in the cutoff, Panka called on the button and McDonald made it 900,000 to play from the small blind. Gamez shoved for 2.89 million, Panka got out of the way, but McDonald called. McDonald showed {10-Diamonds}{10-Spades} and was up against the {Q-Hearts}{10-Hearts}. By the river the five community cards read {6-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{2-Spades}{9-Hearts}{J-Clubs}, which kept McDonald’s pocket tens as the best hand and Gamez shook hands with his former opponents and left the tournament area.

Queen-ten was in the hand of Estonia’s Madis Muur when he was eliminated in fourth place. Muur decided to open and then four-bet jam with {Q-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} after Panka had three-bet him. Unfortunately for Muur, Panka hled the {A-Hearts}{K-Clubs} and he called to put Muur at risk. The {6-Spades}{K-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} flop hit both player, although Panka still had the best of it. The {4-Spades} turn was a blank and the {9-Hearts} river very brick-like. Muur busted, leaving only three players in the running to become the 2014 PCA champion.

Muur’s seat hadn’t had chance to go cold when the three remaining players asked for the tournament clock to be paused so they could discuss a deal. Around 20 minutes later, all three agreed to a deal that saw each of them win over a million dollars each. As part of the deal, $100,000 was set aside to give to the eventual champion.

The aforementioned Baron was the first player to benefit from the deal, crashing out in third place when his three-bet all-in with {K-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} was called by Panka’s {A-Spades}{9-Spades}. The all-spade {7-Spades}{10-Spades}{3-Spades} left Baron drawing completely dead and progressed the tournament to the heads-up stage.

Panka went into the heads-up battle with McDonald holding a 16.9 million to 13.665 million chip lead, although McDonald edged in front after the first hand. The pair butted heads for almost three-and-a-half hours before the course of the tournament drastically altered when Panka opened to 400,000, McDonald three-bet to 1.2 million with {K-Clubs}{J-Spades} and then called when Panka moved all-in for 13.11 million with {9-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}. A ten-high board kept Panka’s nines in front and put McDonald on the back foot.

McDonald never managed to recover from losing that coinflip and during the next level he three-bet all in for 5.39 million while holding the {7-}{4-} and Panka made the call with {A-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} after much deliberation. The {2-Spades}{5-Spades}{J-Hearts} flop changed nothing because McDonald’s two cards were still live. The {7-Hearts} landed on the turn to put McDonald into the lead and leaving Panka needing a deuce or an ace to prevent McDonald from doubling his stack. The river came into view, the {A-}, busting McDonald in second place and leaving the European Poker Tour without a double champion for 95 Main Events!

2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event Final Table Results

1Dominik PankaPoland$1,423,096*
2Mike McDonaldCanada$1,094,865*
3Isaac BaronUSA$1,207,599*
4Madis MuurEstonia$581,040
5Daniel GamezGuatemala$447,040
6Shyam SrinivasanCanada$328,020
7[Pascal LefrancoisCanada$242,020
8Fabian OrtizArgentina$173,220

*Denotes a three-handed deal

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