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German leads PCA High Roller field

14 Jan 2010

(PRESS RELEASE) -- German pro Tobias Reinkemeier is chip leader with 1,072,000 as the PCA $25k High Roller goes into its final day.

The 22-year-old has run deep in numerous events -including 11th at EPT London and 46th here in the main event a few days ago - but said it was an amazing feeling to make a final.

Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks just missed out on the final, finishing in ninth place for $56,995. The only other woman to enter the event - high stakes cash game player Lisa Hamilton - goes into the final with 440,000. Hamilton, who won the $1k Ladies Poker Championship at the World Series last summer, is one of eight players still in the running for a first prize of $576,240. The event kicked off three days ago with 84 runners, generating a total prize pool of $2,058,000.

The other finalists are EPT London High Roller finalist Adolfo Vaeza from Uruguay, PokerStars SuperNova Elite Matt Marafioti, Dutch pro Michiel Brummelhuis. Russian player Dmitry Stelmak and EPT San Remo finalist William Reynolds. Will Molson, who was runner-up in last year's PCA High Roller event, was the short stack when today started but he has also made the final while Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri, chip leader at the start of the day, bubbled in 17th place.

Those who have already been received a share of the $2,058,000 prize pool include world champion and Team PokerStars Pro Joe Cada - out in 11th place, EPT Barcelona winner Carter Phillips - out in 12th, Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer -13th and LAPT1 Punta del Este runner-up Alex Brenes - busted in tenth place.

Close to the High Roller event in the Imperial Ballroom today - but significantly louder and more boisterous - was the final of the PokerStars World Cup of Poker VI. Cheers and roars erupted all day as scores of spectators cheered on their national teams.

The eventual winners were Team Chinese Taipei who beat Team Croatia heads-up to the coveted title and share of $100,000. The event was televised and broadcast live on

For blog reports on all today's action, visit the PokerStars blog. The High Roller final takes place tomorrow (January 14) and will be broadcast live on

Seat 1: Adolfo Vaeza, 57, Montevideo, Uruguay - 790,000 chips
Adolfo Vaeza is the only amateur at the PCA High Roller final table but he could easily prove to be the dark horse in this event. While most of the finalists spend all year traveling the poker circuit and/or grinding online, Vaeza - who runs a construction company - has only traveled to three events in his life. The twist is that he's made the final every time. He came fourth in the EPT6 London High Roller event for £ 141k, he came fifth in the €5k No Limit side event at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo last season for €51k and now the 57-year-old father-of-four has done it again. He plays high roller events because they have "smaller fields and a high level of play."

Seat 2: William Reynolds, 21, Sioux City, Iowa - 482,000 chips
William has been playing poker since he was 16 and by the time he was 18, thought he might well be able to make a living at it. He decided to defer college for four months and see how poker worked out.. after four months, he decided to take a year off; after a year, he decided to take off another year! He came to international attention when he came fourth at EPT San Remo last season for a life-changing €377,000. He also recently cashed (13th) at the LAPT event in Playa Conchal, Costa Rica. Reynolds thrives online and has enjoyed good results - he won an event in 2007 for $205,000, came second in a $1k event on PokerStars in November in 2008 for $60k and 4th in the 2009 $5,000 SCOOP PLO event for $87k. He said: "This is a really prestigious event and it's awesome to be part of a field where you know everyone is very talented."

Seat 3: Michiel 'utreg' Brummelhuis, 26, Amsterdam, Netherlands - 394,000 chips
Compared to other players at the final table, Brummelhuis is not a familiar face outside his own country. Brummelhuis started playing small limit hold'em games online and grinded his way up to playing poker professionally. His success in cash games translated into tournament poker and he is now one of the biggest winners in the Netherlands. His biggest online cash was $144k for winning the $1k WCOOP Second Chance on PokerStars and $101k in another big Sunday tournaments. He has also been successful in live events as well - his best result so far was winning the Master Classics of Poker €1k Freezeout for €68,310. He also made the final of the 2009 WSOP $10k Limit Hold'em event, finishing in seventh place.

Seat 4: Dimitry Stelmak, 24, Moscow, Russia - 150,000 chips
Stelmak is a full time poker pro from Moscow who come to the PCA with a bunch of friends from Russia. Before playing poker, he was studying Mathematics and Science at the University of Moscow. His favorite poker game is Omaha High Pot Limit. He started playing poker five years ago online and four years ago went to his first live tournament. His best live result so far was last year when he chopped for first in the $3k Bellagio Cup for $104,095. He has also won a side event on the Russian Poker Tour, a $2k event with a 100 players. Last September he cashed at EPT Barcelona, coming 38th for €20k. He also came 14th in a €2k side event.

Seat 5: Will "molswi47" Molson, 22, Montreal - 669,000 chips
Will Molson, a 22-year-old student from Montreal, clearly enjoys high rolling in the Bahamas. Last year, he finished second to Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier in this same $25,000 buy in event, earning $228,000. Since then, Molson has cashed at EPT London while taking a year out from college to travel and play poker. Molson goes into the final with 669,000 chips, a remarkable turnaround since the end of day two, when he had the fewest (60,000) of the remaining 24 players. He plays at PokerStars under the moniker "molswi47" and is a regular around the high stakes cash tables.

Seat 6: Tobias 'pokernoob999' Reinkemeier, 22, Germany - 1,072,000 chips
Reinkemeier has been having a highly successful time here at the PCA. Fresh from his 46th place in the main event - which netted him $52,000, his biggest live cash to date - he is now in the final eight for the PCA High Roller event. Reinkemeier is widely considered in the German poker community to be one the country's best tournament players. He has played numerous EPTs and cashed in all three he has played this year including 11th place at EPT London for £28k. He has total live tournament winnings of $360k. He also won $168,750 for winning a $1,500 SCOOP Heads-Up event this year. Originally from Cuxhaven in Germany, Reinkemeier moved to Malta 18 months ago.

Seat 7: Lisa Hamilton, 38, Las Vegas, USA - 440,000 chips
Hamilton is well-known as a high stakes live cash game player and, until last summer's WSOP, had never played a major live tournament. However her decision to take part in the $1k Ladies Poker Championship certainly paid off when she bested the 1,060-strong field to take the first place prize of $195,390. Despite this success, all her decisions to play live events still seem to be made on a whim - she only came to the PCA at the insistence of her good friend Team PokerStars Pro ElkY. Originally from Honolulu in Hawaii, Hamilton moved to Las Vegas in 2005. As well as playing poker, Hamilton also spends time helping out with her family's clothing retail business.

Seat 8: Matt "ADZ124" Marafioti, 21, SuperNova Elite - Toronto, Canada - 236,000 chips
Marafioti is another player who has already made the money at this year's PCA - finishing 26th in the $1,500 NL Freezeout on Sunday for $3,570. However, that's peanuts compared to the guaranteed $66,885 he'll get for making the final of the High Roller event. Although best known as a high stakes online cash game pro, Marafioti is now getting great results in live events and has cashed in the last four out of five that he's played. Last summer, he came 12th for $ 172,120 in the WSOP $40k Anniversary event and in July was runner-up to Christian Harder at the $5k Bellagio Cup in Las Vegas for $165,985. His total live tournament winnings now top $600k. Marafioti is a SuperNova Elite and had so many Frequent Player Points he was recently able to trade them in for an Aston Martin. He almost got blinded out at the start of the High Roller event as he was still playing in the 5k event on the other side of the Imperial Ballroom.

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