Seat 1: Jason Koonce, 36, United States - 7,125,000
Jason Koonce is arguably the least experienced player on the final table. With just two reported live cashes to his name, worth only $6,426, Koonce is about to make for his name in the poker world. Having made the final table of the biggest-ever $25,000 will surely do just that. But it's also the noticeable similarity of his name with the renowned high stakes player that drew attention to the newcomer. When Koonce checked into the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas at the start of the PSPC, he was given Jason Koon's room. Away from poker tables, Koonce is running his sports memorabilia and talent company One Team International Agency (OTIA) and spending time with his wife and three young children.
26-year-old French professional poker player Julien Martini is fresh on the back of his breakout year, having won a WSOP bracelet last summer. He secured his first gold in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event after prevailing in a heads-up match against Kate Hoang, whom he started dating later during the summer. Martini kept showcasing his mixed games abilities throughout the World Series but he's also an accomplished NL Hold'em player. He came close to scooping the title in the €1,100 EPT Barcelona National Event, finishing second for €323,000. With more than $1 million in cashes to his name, Martini is set to climb through the French all-time money list where he sits in 60th place.
Colombian-born Miami resident Farid Jattin has been a regular fixture on the live tournament circuit across the United States. Jattin is leading the Colombian all-time money list with over $2.9 million in winnings. He's bound to cement his pole position with his PSPC run having already locked up a hefty six-figure prize. His previous biggest payday - $243,521 - came in April 2018 for a runner-up finish in the Borgata Spring Poker Open Main Event. Prolific on the live felt, Jattin is also a renowned online grinder with numerous respectable results to his name. Plying as "SHiiPTHATiSH" on PokerStars, Jattin has made it to heads-up in both SCOOP and WCOOP events.
To say that the PSPC Day 1 chip leader Talal "raidalot" Shakerchi, 54, is no stranger to high stakes poker tournaments is a huge understatement. He’s currently 158th on the all-time money list for live poker, and 6th in the England-only one, with over $6 million in winnings, and will be one of the most comfortable players on the final table. He’s made the final table in High Roller events ranging from the £10,000 EPT London tournament to the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl in Vegas and won eight of them. In 2016 he won one of the toughest online tournaments in the world – the $10,000 SCOOP High Main Event on PokerStars for $1,468,000. And he’s not even a professional poker player. The final table would be wise not to underestimate this amiable businessman, who has won more over a longer time span than any of his competitors.
Talal Shakerchi's PSPC run:
1 / 770
14 / 207
20 / 38
7 / 8
Seat 5: Marc Perrault, 29, Blainville, QC/Canada - 2,275,000
Marc Perrault, 29, has a string of hefty cashes dating back to 2012 both live and online on PokerStars, including final table finishes in tough fields like that of the $1,050 Super Tuesday and the Sunday Warm-up. His previous best live result was a third-place finish in a $1,000 NL Hold’em event at the 2016 WSOP ($110,172), but he has been winning prize money consistently both in his native Canada and around the world poker circuit, from Barcelona to Uruguay. He will still be more than doubling his lifetime earnings of $832,694, no matter where he finishes tomorrow.
Ramon Colillas is one of the 320 players who freerolled their way to the PSPC through winning a Platinum Pass. The 30-year-old from Spain won his package thanks to topping the Campeonato de España de Poker leaderboard. Colillas studied at the Faculty of Sciences for Physical Activity and Sport and worked as a fitness trainer, but he switched to a professional poker career when he turned 24. While Colillas dedicates most of his time away from the tables to studying the game, he also enjoys running, playing padel, and travelling. Colillas came to The Bahamas with his girlfriend Nesrin who is supporting him from the rail.
Ramon Colillas' PSPC run:
88 / 770
17 / 207
5 / 38
5 / 8
Seat 7: Scott Baumstein, 34, NY/United States - 10,725,000
Scott Baumstein is a 34-year-old New Yorker who started amassing live tournament cashes in 2009. Baumstein has accrued over $1.9 million in winnings through the following decade on the live felt. He'd notched up five six-figure scores before his arrival at the PSPC, including $220,238 for an outright win at WPTDS Seminole last summer. That result will no longer stand as Baumstein's personal best as he's already guaranteed to collect at least $509,000 for making the top eight. Baumstein is no stranger to deep runs in the Atlantis Resort, having finished 15th in the PCA 2015 Main Event.
Marc Rivera, 45, is one of the two Platinum Pass winners still in contention for the PSPC trophy. He was happy to win his own trip to the Bahamas after two of his friends, Mike Takayama and Lester Edoc, secured their own Platinum Passes. “I am feeling very happy because I have them with me,” Rivera said, “I’d been wanting to go with them.” Thanks to his victory in the APPT Manila National Main Event, his wish was granted, and the engineer-turned-pro-player now has a shot at the title, having locked up the biggest live cash of his life. Rivera has played poker for 12 years after being introduced to the game by his brother Ashley, who said he was “going to love it.” Sure enough, his passion for the game and experience both live and online on PokerStars have brought him to the cusp of becoming an instant poker millionaire. When not on the felt, Rivera enjoys basketball, TV series and spending time at home with his family, playing with his son and daughter.
Poker players from all over the world had this day circled on their calendar for over a year now and it has finally arrived for eight hopefuls remaining. The final day of the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship is set to begin at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas for the official final table.
This record-breaking event that PokerStars envisioned attracted a total of 1,039 players, making it the largest $25,000 tournament ever. The field has dwindled down to just eight players over the course of the first four days and now one of them will be awarded a whopping $5.1 million for first. Each player is guaranteed at least $509,000 and the top six will walk away with at least $1,000,000.
For the second day in a row, Scott Baumstein will stroll in with the chip lead. Baumstein accumulated 10,725,000 chips after Day 4, never really finding himself at risk of being in trouble. Not far behind him is Platinum Pass winner Marc Rivera with 10,350,000. Rivera is one of two players on the ultimate freeroll, Ramon Colillas being the other player with 8,300,000.
The action will get underway at 1 p.m. with 39:28 remaining in level 32. The blinds will be 125,000/250,000 with a 250,000 big blind ante. The levels will continue to be 60-minutes in length until the heads-up portion of the tournament is reached, at which point they will become 30 minutes. There will also be a 20-minute break after every two levels.
The livestream will kick off at the start of play and will be aired starting at 1:30 p.m. on a 30-minute delay. It can be accessed through Twitch or by clicking on the 'Livestream' tab. The PokerNews live reporting team will be bringing you hand-for-hand coverage in sync with the stream until a winner is crowned.