Posted 1/17/11 : San Francisco 24-year-old started heads up at a 5-to-1 disadvantage
 
All eyes were on the Pokerstars Caribbean Poker Adventure over the weekend, with Chris Oliver widely expected to take the title and the $2.3 million first prize down after starting the final table with an overwhelming chip lead and maintaining it right through to the heads up.
 
But it was 24-year-old Galen Hall from San Francisco who celebrated the victory at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas at the end of the 10 hour final table…and he did it despite being 5-to-1 chips behind Oliver when the heads up started.
 
When the final eight reconvened to decide the big winner, Oliver had a formidable lead of 13.24 million over his nearest rival, Galen Hall, in a final table that included: Sam Stein (5,855,000); Mike Sowers (3,685,000); Anton Ionel (3,520,000); Max Weinberg (3,350,000); Bolivar Palacios (2,445,000); and Philippe Plouffe (1,555,000).
 
The duo was to dominate the game and end up facing each other in the heads up.
 
It took only fifteen minutes for the first casualty on the final table to be eliminated, and it was all action from there on in as the eight survivors from an original field of 1 560 battled for the lion's share of the $15 132 000 prize pool.
 
Hall's win boosted his career earnings by $2.3 million, whilst Oliver still took home a very respectable runner up prize of $1.8 million.
 
Hall plays extensively on the Internet and is a respected player who has already cashed over a million dollars in his young career, although his latest triumph is his biggest payday yet.
 
He said that the big win would not deter him from his plans to attend Stamford Business School this year.
 
The prizes in the main event were generous for all the final tablers and the other players took home pay packets that looked like this:
 
3 Anton Ionel $1,350,000
 
4 Sam Stein $1,000,000
 
5 Mike Sowers $700,000
 
6 Bolivar Palacios $450,000
 
7 Max Weinberg $300,000
 
8 Philippe Plouffe $202,000
 
Still in the Bahamas, the Pokerstars World Cup of Poker (see previous InfoPowa reports) also played out this week as a component of the PCA. This year Italy was triumphant, led by Luca Pagano, and earned $100 000 for its four member team.
 
Liv Boeree's British team came second and picked up $70 000.
 
Among the final nine national teams were the USA, Ukraine, Spain, France, Philippines, Argentina and Slovakia.