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  • John Dibella Wins PCA Main Event

    Saturday, January 14th, 2012 by Ryan

The 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure drew in some incredibly big names throughout almost all of the events, but you can bet that the Main Event probably featured some of the biggest. The PCA Main Event typically is one of the most talked about early season poker tournaments, and this years was no different at all. The eventual winner was a player who not many fans knew, but it was a stockbroker by the name of John Dibella, who not only received the trophy, but also an incredible $2 million first place prize for his run. Dibella didn’t make much noise through the final table early on, but it was a nice double through Faraz Jaka when play was down to only four players that changed things quite a bit for him.

He and Jaka seemed to go back and forth quite a bit, and Jaka seemed to be the big time favorite to take down the event. He even sent a knockout blow that was crushing to final tablist Xuan Liu when his A/6 beat out the A/7 of Liu. Things started going south soon after that for Jaka though, as he and Kyle Julius began going back and forth at each other during pre-flop play. The two raised and re-raised back and forth, and Jaka ended up being dominated when he showed his King-Jack, but was up against the Ace-King of Julius. This would put an end to Jaka’s night, as he was sent home in 3rd place with a nice payday of $755k.

This set up a huge heads up match for it all between Dibella and Julius, which Dibella holding the chip lead to start the action. In total, it was around 18 million to 13 million chips, but it didn’t take long for Dibella to completely take control of the match. He continued to slowly build up his chip stack before the final hand saw Julius attempt one bluff in order to get some of it back, but it was called down by Dibella for the championship.

For Dibella, this win was definitely his largest to date, as he had a cash for $16k at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure back in 2008 before this. A bit of interesting news came out about the heads up match, as it was reported that Dibella and Julius actually made a deal before heads up play began, which left both players winning $1.5 million, and the other $275k going towards the player who won the heads up match. If this is true, both players still received very nice paydays, but Julius actually picked up some extra prize money in the end.

Two other interesting notes about the event should be pointed out about our third and fourth place finishers in Jaka and Liu. Liu fell just short of her attempt to be the first ever female winner in PCA history, but has two impressive finishes in her career when she finished fourth at the 2011 EPT San Remo event, and now her 4th place finish here. Jaka on the other hand was looking for his first ever major tournament title, but fell just short with his third place finish.

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