Day 5 of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure commenced with the plan to play down from 24 to six players, and Chance Kornuth emerged as the leader after nearly 12 hours of play with 7.86 million. The Florida native has put together a successful live poker career with more than $1.7 million in cashes and a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2010, but if he can finish the job here at PCA and claim the first prize of nearly $1.5 million, it would be the biggest score he's had by far.
Joining Kornuth for the final day of the tournament will be Kevin Schulz (6.155 million), Diego Ventura (3.98 million), Niklas Hambitzer (3.1 million), Juan Martin Pastor (2.655 million), and Rami Boukai (780,000). Play stopped with the elimination of Pratyush Buddiga in seventh place with about half an hour left in Level 29 (40,000/80,000/10,000), which will leave everyone under 100 big blinds when play resumes on Wednesday for the conclusion of the tournament.
A couple of players doubled through Kornuth near the beginning of the day, knocking him down to the middle of the pack. Things turned when he picked up and snapped off Jim Collopy's four-bet shove, crushing his . A bit later, a limped pot turned into a big one for Kornuth when he completed the small and saw big blind Felipe Ramos check. Kornuth check-called 45,000 on the flop and then came out betting with 97,000 on the turn. Ramos went nowhere, and Kornuth forced the issue, putting his opponent all in for about 250,000 on the river. Ramos called with for a full house, but Kornuth had run quads with .
Kornuth continued climbing from there, employing extreme preflop aggression to separate himself from the pack, at one point having more than 110 big blinds when the next best stack had 45. In the waning minutes, Schulz narrowed the gap by winning three big preflop all in to rocket up the counts. First, he doubled through Buddiga with against Buddiga's , turning a queen and fading a backdoor flush. Then, he busted Dylan "ImaLucSac" Linde when Linde's didn't improve against . Right after that, Buddiga jammed his last 1.415 million with only for Schulz's rush to continue with . Even a flop couldn't stop Schulz from getting another elimination as two bricks fell.
Others who found the rail during the course of Day 5 play included Tim Reilly (23rd), Noah Schwartz (22nd), Maurice Hawkins (16th), Scott Baumstein (15th), Ratharam Sivagnanam (13th), Day 4 leader Eugenio Mattar (12th), Benjamin Pollak (11th), and Shyam "sdot_111" Srinivasan (10th). The latter came heartbreakingly close to back-to-back PCA final tables, only to have his outdrawn all in preflop by Schulz's when Schulz was able to run a straight.
Day 6 play resumes at 1 p.m. local time here in the Bahamas, with a delayed stream with hole cards firing up shortly thereafter. PokerNews will be on the scene until the EPT crowns a new champion.