Ognyan Dimov has kicked off 2023 in style, cashing four times at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure festival and ending that spree with a career-high score of $990,655. Dimov secured that sum as the champion of the final $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em high roller event on the PCA schedule, topping a field of 187 entries to capture his fourth live tournament title.
The bracelet winner and two-time European Poker Tour main event champion from Bulgaria now has more than $4.4 million in lifetime earnings, placing him second on his home country’s all-time money list behind only Dimitar Danchev ($6,656,619).
Dimov took home 1,176 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his second final table of the year, having also finished as the runner-up in the $20,000 buy-in bounty event earlier in the series. His success at the PCA has put him just outside the top 20 in the 2023 POY race standings, which are presented by Global Poker.
The big turnout to the Baha Mar Resort & Casino in Nassau, Bahamas resulted in a prize pool of $4,444,055. The top 27 finishers made the money, with big names like Bryn Kenney (27th), Michael Addamo (22nd), Martin Zamani (20th), Ryan Riess (15th), Ethan Yau (13th), and Joao Vieira (11th) running deep.
The third and final day began with 17 contenders remaining, with Ren Lin leading and Dimov in third chip position. By the time the field combined onto the final table, Lin remained in the lead while Dimov had slid into the middle of the pack.
Two-time bracelet winner Elio Fox busted fellow two-time bracelet winner Yuri Dzivielevski (9th – $116,400), before ultimately falling in eighth place ($139,700) at the hands of Dimov.
Dimov then cracked the pocket kings of recent PCA pot-limit Omaha high roller event winner Dylan Smith (7th – $167,700) with pocket tens, riveting a set to narrow the field to six.
Lin then scored a pair of knockouts, winning a flip against Mustapha Kanit (6th – $201,300) and picking up pocket aces against the pocket fours of Brock Wilson (5th – $261,700) to retain the lead heading into four-handed action.
Kayhan Mokri’s (4th – $340,200) run in this event concluded when his A-Q failed to outrace the pocket tens of Dimov, who pulled into a virtual tie with Lin as a result. Anthony Hu battled from the short stack into the lead, only to fall back down to the bottom of the chip counts when Dimov picked off a bluff from Hu to overtake the lead.
Hu got all-in with K-J shortly after that and found himself at risk and flipping against the pocket eights of Dimov. Dimov made a flush by the river to eliminate Hu in third place ($442,300). This was Hu’s fifth POY-qualified final-table finish of 2023, including a win in a PokerGO Cup high roller event. With 1,889 points and $980,200 in year-to-date POY earnings, Hu has climbed into 10th place on the POY leaderboard.
The final hand of this event saw Dimov min-raise to 200,000 from the button with K10. Lin defended his big blind with 76 and the flop brought the 1086. Lin checked and Dimov bet 500,000. Lin check-raised all-in with his pair and gutshot and Dimov called with top pair. The 8 turn and K river saw Dimov improve to kings up to secure the pot. Lin secured $619,200 as the runner-up, the second-largest score of his career.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
Photo credits: Manuel Kovsca / Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd.