The penultimate day of the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event saw ten players fall to the rail, leaving a final table of six players returning to play for the trophy, the inaugural title and a cool $480,012.
The story at the start is the haves vs. the have nots, with Gentili, Christian Harder and Aleksei Opalikhin holding huge stacks while Michael Vela, Rasmus Glaesel and Cliff Josephy return as short stacks.
Gentili’s biggest tournament score came in a runner-up finish at the 2016 $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event. Outside that, his results suggest that he didn’t start playing seriously until the start of 2016, with only four cashes prior in $235 buy-in events.
Harder’s last live win came 18 months ago in a $2,200 event for $84,270, but Harder final tabled the PCA in 2008 and has final tables experience in WSOP, WPT and EPT events.
Josephy was a favorite heading into the final table of the 2016 WSOP Main Event and finished in third place for $3.45 million. His 20 big blind stack will most likely be in play early with Josephy’s aggressive style.
Opalikhin is a Russian player with no live results that didn’t plan on being in the event. He happened to be traveling in the Bahamas, won his seat through a $650 satellite but he was exposed to the game as competitive billiards player.
Vela is an East Coast player that scored a huge win in the 2007 WPT World Poker Finals at Foxwoods for $1.7 million. Glaesel is a former investment banker from Norway who’s been playing online for years. He decided to try the live circuit and this is his first trip.
The final table kicks off at noon but will have a one-hour delay for live broadcast with hole cards.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Michael Gentili – 6,175,000
2. Christian Harder – 5,985,000
3. Aleksei Opalikhin – 4,590,000
4. Michael Vela – 1,755,000
5. Rasmus Glaesel – 1,560,000
6. Cliff Josephy – 1,240,000