In this male dominated sport of poker, it’s easy to spot the women in the field, especially when they make the final table of a major event and run away with all the glory. That’s exactly what went down last night at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure with Argentinian pro Maria Lampropulos capturing the US$10,300 Main Event to become the first woman to win the PCA.
As the latest champion, Lampropulos joined other fellow pros such as Gus Hansen (2004), Bertrand Grospellier (2008), Mike Watson (2016), and defending champion Christian Harder (2017) in the exclusive list of winners. The 15th edition of the PCA saw Lampropulos overcome a field of 582 entries, which included a high-powered final table, to claim the US$1,081,100 champion’s purse and the exclusive US$30K Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship in 2019.
Final table run to victory
The PCA is one of the most anticipated opening events each year in Paradise Island, Bahamas with the Main Event running a course of six days from January 9 – 14.
From the get-go, Lampropulos ran well, finishing each day high in the charts. By the end of Day 4, she sealed the last woman standing label after ousting Liv Boeree just before bagging time. This placed her in a very strong second-in-command position entering Day 5 with 16 players remaining. Two days later, she was at the final table ranked 3rd, seated with a couple of amateurs and a few elite players namely Spain’s Adrian Mateos – 2017 GPI Player of the Year -, Germany’s Koray Aldemir, and Canada’s Shawn Buchanan.
The final table began with the two amateurs dropping off early. With only the pros remaining, the race to the title was filled with ample action with each player seeing some time on the leader’s seat. The day’s entering chip leader, Mateos, was first to go, stopped by Buchanan in 4th place. He was later followed by Aldemir in 3rd place with Buchanan once again as the hatchet man. This brought on the heads up round with the Canadian backed by a healthy chip advantage against Lampropulos.
However, despite the bigger stack, Buchanan was unable to hold off the charging lady. In just over ten hands, Lampropulos had maneuvered her way to the lead and went on to seize the title. This was both her first score and first victory for the new year.
Winning the PCA Main Event may have earned the Argentinian pro a sweet payday but this wasn’t her first taste of the seven-digits. On April 2017, Lampropulos rose above the 1204 entries of the partypoker Millions Live and scored over US$1.2 million. This remains to be her single largest live payout.
After this recent triumph, Lampropulos moved up to 3rd rank in Argentina with around US$2.8M in total. She is two places away from the leader Ivan Luca – her boyfriend – who has double her earnings however unlike her, he has not seen a seven-figure score as of yet. This victory is surely something for her to brag about as it comes with the rare mark of being the first lady to ever win the PCA Main Event.
Final Table payouts
1st Maria Lampropulos – Argentina – US$1,081,100
2nd Shawn Buchanan – Canada – US#672,960
3rd Koray Aldemir – Germany – US$481,560
4th Adrian Mateos – Spain – US$372,600
5th Daniel Coupal – Canada – US$293,560
6th Christian Rudolph – Germany – US$229,760