Cary Katz Wins 2018 PCA $100K Super High Roller for $1.5 Million, Snuffing Out Final Table Favorite Bryn Kenney

January 9th, 2018 by Chad Holloway

During four-handed play in the 2018 PCA $100,000 Super High Roller, Bryn Kenney had two-thirds of the chips in play. He was a heavy favorite to become the event’s first two-time champ, but a cruel turn of events saw him bust in third place while Cary Katz captured the title and a first-place prize of $1,492,340.

Cary Katz, the founder of College Loan Corporation and Poker Central, has now racked up $13.7 million in live tournament cashes. Even so, he still considers himself a recreational player. (Image: Neil Stoddart/PokerStars)

Shutting Down ‘Bahama Bryn’

The 2018 PCA $100K SHR attracted 48 entries, which was down slightly from last year’s 54 participants and 58 the year before that, when Kenney took the title and won $1,687,800. Heading into the tournament, no one had cashed for more in the PCA $100K than Kenney, who made the money four times in seven runnings. That includes the win and two third-place finishes.

This year, Kenney amassed his big stack with five players remaining. That’s when Argentina’s Ivan Luca went from the chip lead to out in two hands. Kenney was the beneficiary of those chips. During this time, Katz was patiently grinding a short stack.

Time and again, Katz doubled his short stack as blinds and antes increased. Eventually, the double-ups took a toll on Kenney’s stack, and he found himself on the rail in another disappointing third-place finish (for $686,690).

“In poker, you have to teach yourself not really to be disappointed with how the all-ins go and just more about how you played,” Kenney told tournament officials after his elimination. “I think I played a flawless final table. It just couldn’t go my way at the end.” 

Despite falling short, his fifth cash in the tournament’s eight-year history brought his total PCA Super High Roller earnings up to $4,166,700, which is nearly 20 percent of his lifetime earnings of more than $21 million.

Kenny’s dominance at the PCA, which included winning $1.75 million last year, has earned him the nickname “Bahama Bryn” among the high roller crowd.

Katz’s Nine Lives

Cary Katz (Image: PokerStars)

As for Katz, a 47-year-old father of six, he went on to square off against Justin Bonomo in heads-up play. They were sitting nearly even in chips when Katz, who finished fifth in the 2016 $1 Million Big One for One Drop, won a big pot holding quads against Bonomo’s full house.

Three hands later, in Level 22 (60k/120k/20k), Bonomo open-jammed for 3.3 million with A♣K♥, and Katz called with 8♦8♣. Bonomo needed to win the race to survive, but that proved easier said than done as the board ran out an unhelpful 2♠9♥3♠Q♠J♥. Bonomo took home $1,254,400 for finishing runner-up.

“I won some high rollers before but this is definitely the most prestigious one so I’m very proud of it,” said Katz, who was one of just two players to late register at the start of Day 2. The other high rollers he’s talking about are from the ARIA HR series he established in Las Vegas.

Prior to getting his feet wet in the gaming world, Katz founded the College Loan Corporation in 1999 and over the next 15 years helped grow it into the seventh largest student loan company in the United States. 

While he won, Katz was quick to offer praise to Kenney.

“I felt it was definitely Bryn’s tournament. I think he just got really unlucky at the end. Nobody played better than Bryn this tournament. He definitely outplayed me.”

In other 2018 PCA news, Germany powerhouse Stefan Schillhabel bested a field of 28 entries to win a special turbo $26K High Roller to benefit REG Charity. The tournament ended in a three-way chop alongside Koray Aldemir ($185,776) and Daniel Dvoress ($151,497), but it was Schillhabel who hoisted the trophy and claimed a $213,977 top prize.

2018 PCA $100K SHR Final Table Results
1 Cary Katz (USA) $1,492,340
2 Justin Bonomo (USA) $1,077,800
3 Bryn Kenney (USA) $686,960
4 Daniel Negreanu (Canada) $521,140
5 Ivan Luca (Argentina0 $402,700
6 Ike Haxton (USA) $307,940
7 Sam Greenwood (Canada) $248,720

7 Responses to “Cary Katz Wins 2018 PCA $100K Super High Roller for $1.5 Million, Snuffing Out Final Table Favorite Bryn Kenney”

  1. RidersFan says:

    I watched all of the first stream and most of the final day but fell asleep 4 handed and was shocked to see that Katz had won. Bryn Kenney was playing really well and had most of the chips in play, I thought for sure that he was going to win but that’s poker sometimes. Very entertaining final table.

  2. marakhovskii says:

    all the players were very nervous, and Katz at the end began a nervous tic but he is still well done

  3. Carol Cerabino says:

    Congratulations !! Bryns grandmother.He was happy that you won.

  4. Carol Cerabino says:

    Congratulations!! Bryns grandmother. He was happy that you won.

  5. cristhiansantillan says:

    Congratulations. I saw it and Kats was short stacked even at the Buble he skipped it. Then the 2 tops players went all in and one was out (Luca) that is what a short stacked dreams. Getting closer and closer to the big cash places. Daniel Negreanu was 4th after some survivor hands. But i just didn’t believe Katz the one who almost didn’t get ITM won the tournament.

  6. AgentXtreme says:

    Cary Katz wasn’t likely to win the tournament but what I professional performance , he came from short stack to win the title .
    Honestly , I was expecting Negreanu or Bryn to win but Katz really surprised me , much respect for that guy 🙂

  7. Vorem says:

    My opinion is that Cary Katz was the weakest player at the final table. Another example of the fact that luck is the most important in poker

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