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Harrison Gimbel wins Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure
1/12/10 - The Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure main event ended in fine style in the Bahamas Monday, providing railbirds with some thrilling action as the relatively unknown Harrison Gimbel - a 19-year-old Internet pro from Florida - triumphed to take the glory, the trophy and a $2.2 million pay day.
In doing so Gimbel became the youngest PCA champion yet, besting a record entry field of 1 529 players, many of them at the top end of the international game, who competed over the 7 day spectacle.
Monday's final table comprised chip leader Ryan D'Angelo who had 10 090 000 in chips, just ahead of nearest rival Ty Reiman on 9 350 000 after a dramatic surge to the top of the leaderboard. They are followed by Barry Schulman (6 805 000); Harrison Gimbel (6 000 000); Tom Koral (5 370 000); Benjamin Zamani (3 700 000); Zachary Goldberg (2 340 000) and low stack Aage Ravn (1 600 000).
Only six hands into the action an exciting exchange between Gimbel and chip leader D'Angelo saw a pot of ten million chips up for grabs and a double up by Gimbel saw him take most of D'Angelos chips in a dramatic reversal of fortune, setting the scene for this thriller of a finale.
Tom Koral was the first elimination after a clash with Benjamin Zamani over another multi-million chip pot left him headed to the exit and a $200 000 plus payday for an eighth placing. He was followed in seventh place for $300 000 by Zachary Goldberg, who ran afoul of Norwegian player Aage Ravn in another doubled up clash.
Ravn was himself eliminated next, going down in a clash with Zamani and Gimbel to exit in sixth place and collecting a $450 000 prize.
Following Ravn's departure play settled down and it was several hours before the next bust - one-time chip leader Ryan D'Angelo, who headed for the rail after being eliminated by Ty Reiman, collecting a $700 000 paycheck for his fifth placing.
The first seven digit payday went to Benjamin Zamani, ousted in fourth place for a million dollars by Gimbel, who then went on to take out Barry 'All In' Shulman at the 134 hand mark; Shulman's third place finish was worth a useful $1 350 000 to the 2009 WSOP main event finalist.
Heads up it was Harrison Gimbel vs. internet pro player Ty Reiman, with the latter holding a significant 11 million chip advantage as the duo entered a contest that would last for a further 45 hands. Going onto the offensive, Gimbel first evened and then reversed the stack situation within six hands, taking every key pot until he had built a 4:1 chip lead with which he continued to hammer away at Reiman until taking him down at hand 180.
Reiman headed for the exit and a whopping take-home of $1 750 000, whilst the nineteen-year-old Gimbel basked in the respect (and $2.2 million main prize glow) that goes with becoming the youngest PCA champion ever.
“It feels amazing,” said the new champ moments after the win. “This is what I’ve dreamed of. I’ve always wanted to win a big major tournament and luckily I accomplished it on one of my very first ones.”
“I felt my opponents were really good,” Gimbel added, “...but I had a lot of confidence in myself coming into today and it really showed.
“I used to wrestle in high school and my coach always said 'envision something and it’ll come true.' Not that it’ll come true, but it’ll happen.”
Like most of today's young poker guns, Gimbel is adept at Internet action, and his previous poker career landmarks include a PokerStars Sunday Million final table appearance and in live tourneys a win in the 2009 Florida State Poker Championships.
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