PCA 2016: Final table player profiles

January 14, 2016

From End Bosses to brain surgeons, profiles of the six men eyeing triumph at the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event.

Seat 1: Michael Watson, 31, St. John’s, Canada


Having crafted his game on the online tables of PokerStars, where he is known as “SirWatts”, Mike Watson has been a regular on the live poker scene for more than ten years. He has a sterling resumé to show for efforts as well. The 31-year-old from St John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, Canada, has more than $8.3 million in live tournament winnings, which puts him fifth in his country’s all-time money list. In the past decade, he has recorded 38 cashes at the World Series of Poker, a WPT Bellagio title worth $1.6 million and numerous EPT High Roller results. These include a runner-up finish in the EPT11 Grand Final €50,000 Super High Roller, and third places in the equivalent tournament at EPT9 Barcelona and in the 2013 PCA $25,000 High Roller. Watson remains highly successful online: “SirWatts” won two watches in the latest SCOOP tournament series. — 6,585,000 chips

Seat 2: Vladimir Troyanovskiy, 42, St Petersburg, Russia


Vladimir Troyanovskiy first learned poker from his older brother when he was 13 and quickly transitioned from five-card draw to hold ’em and Omaha in clubs in Russia’s major cities. He is now widely acknowledged as one of Russia’s top poker players, while still also able to find time to run a business in St Petersburg. The 42-year-old made his European Poker Tour debut at the Grand Final in Moncao in Season 3 and since then has amassed more than $3.9 million in live tournament winnings. The majority of his results have come in live PokerStars events in Europe and Asia. He was a serious contender for last year’s EPT Player of the Year title after a run of results that included third in the EPT11 Super High Roller in Barcelona (€473,200) and ninth in the €100,000 Super High Roller in Monaco (€199,620). He has continued the form in Season 12 with three cashes in Barcelona, two in Malta and three at EPT Prague in December including runner-up in the €5,000 8-Game, and tenth in the €25,000 High Roller. Troyanovskiy earned his best live result in this room in 2013 when he was runner-up to Vanessa Selbst in the $25,000 High Roller for $792,180. He has made two other Super High Roller final tables as well and ranks sixth in Russia’s all time money list. Troyanovskiy is no slouch online either: he won his trip to this year’s PCA in a $320 satellite on PokerStars. — 5,025,000 chips

Seat 3: Randy Kritzer, 58, Greensboro, North Carolina, United States


The oldest player at the final is Randy Kritzer, a 58-year-old neurosurgeon from Greensboro, North Carolina, who has already guaranteed a prize three times as large as his previous total poker winnings. Five years ago, Kritzer finished 21st in a $1,000 event at the World Series in Las Vegas, taking nearly $14,000, which was his biggest single score before arriving to the Bahamas this week. This is not Kritzer’s first visit to the PCA: he played at last year’s festival and notched up two cashes in side events. However, none were anywhere close to the $150,000 minimum he has already secured today. Kritzer spent much of Day 5 on the feature table and admits that the spotlight is new to him. But if you can rely on anyone to keep their hands still despite the high intensity environment, it is a man who has performed brain surgery at a practice in his hometown since 1990 and is the president and founder of Carolina Neurosurgery. Busy with his life-saving occupation, Kritzer came to the PCA to play only one event and has made it to the final stages. — 2,565,000 chips

Seat 4: Tony Gregg, 29, Columbia, Maryland, United States


Prior to this festival, Tony Gregg was the only player ever to reach two Main Event final tables at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. It now follows that Gregg is the only player to make three. Widely considered one of the best tournament poker players in the world–his peers have nicknamed him “End Boss” in reference to how tough he is to play against–Gregg was runner up at the PCA 2009 Main Event (still the largest renewal), which earned him $1.7 million, and finished sixth three years ago, banking another $364,000. Should he repeat his 2012 performance, Gregg will move past the $10 million mark in live tournament earnings. Gregg won the 2013 $111,111 One Drop High Roller at the World Series, which was worth $4,830,619, and he also won a WPT title at the Parx Poker Open in 2013 for $416,127. It means that he is only an EPT title away from completing the Triple Crown. Gregg’s online results are also remarkable. Under the screen name “wwwBTHEREcom”, he has accumulated more than $1.5 million in cashes, including a SCOOP title and a Sunday Million victory. — 5,690,000 chips

Seat 5: Phillip McAllister, 22, Winchester, United Kingdom


Phillip McAllister is the youngest man around the PCA final table, but is already a highly experienced poker player, with $900,000 in recorded profit in online games. McAllister plays as “Grindation” on PokerStars and lives among numerous online pros in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. During the 2014 SCOOP, McAllister secured his two biggest results: he was runner up in Event #1-H for $232,960 and bettered it a few days later when he finished fifth in Event #44-H and banked $350,838. McAllister’s CV also includes a runner-up finish in the Sunday Million from August 2012 and fourth place in last year’s WCOOP Super Tuesday. So far, he has amassed a relatively meagre $180,000 on the live scene, the biggest single cash of which came in a side event at EPT11 Prague. However, he seems set to more than double his total previous earnings here at the PCA. — 3,040,000 chips

Seat 6: Toby Lewis, 26, Southampton, United Kingdom


Toby Lewis is the only former EPT champion to make the PCA final table and can become only the second player ever to win two titles should he prevail this afternoon. His first title came in Vilamoura in Season 7, when he beat WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson heads up to cash for €467,836. His total live winnings are just shy of $2.7 million, but Lewis is also well known for his online poker success under the screen name “810ofclubs”. On PokerStars alone, he has cashed for almost $3.5 million, at least $720,000 of which is profit. Lewis’s largest score came from a $215+R WCOOP win in 2013 for $189,379. He also has a final table in the Main Event-High of SCOOP 2011 where he finished sixth for $167,200. Lewis started playing poker in casinos, mostly low buy in tournaments, when he turned 18. After graduating from college he became an online cash game regular but transitioned to tournaments after winning an event in Brighton. He cites fellow British players Chris Moorman, Craig McCorkell and Tom Middleton as major influences on his career. — 4,665,000 chips



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