Christian Harder Wins 1st PokerStars Championship for $429k

In 2008, Christian Harder played his first big live event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

When he finished 7th for $200,000 he made his backer for the event, Cliff Josephy, a nice profit.

Nine years later the two found themselves sitting as the final two in the first-ever PokerStars Championship in the Bahamas.

Harder had at a slight chip at around 12m-9m so they did what most old business associates might do – made a deal ensuring them both over $400,000.

Leaving $10,000 to play for and the first-ever PSC Bahamas title, Harder quickly finished things off to collect the trophy and $429,664

“It’s pretty amazing,” Harder told the PokerStars blog. “I’ve come full circle. It’s totally where it all started. I’d never played a big buy in until the 2008 PCA. I’ve been playing for nine years really, never won a major tournament. To finally win one, here, it’s awesome.”

PSC Bahamas 2016 main event final table 4

Good day for Josephy, not so much for Gentili.

Gentili First to Fifth

While things worked out swimmingly for Harder, who came into the final table with almost 6m in chips, they went the opposite way for Michael Gentili.

The Canadian chip leader had just over 6m to start but lost pot after pot to chip down under 2m. He then lost back-to-back hands to Aleksei Opalikhin and Josephy and he was out in fifth for just over $140k.

Opalikhin was out in fourth on a flip shortly after but the $191,420 he took home to Russia likely felt pretty good as came to the Bahamas without intending to play the Main Event but binked a satellite for his entry.

Three-handed it was Michael Vela who took the most hits before finally succumbing to a rivered flush. The 2007 WPT Foxwoods champ, who battled throat and tongue cancer last year, still earned an impressive $259,980.

Watch the replay of the final table below or read the full recap in the PokerStars blog. Complete final-table results and payouts:

PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event

Dates: January 8-14, 2017
Players: 738
Buy-in: $4,717 + $283
Total prize pool: $3,376,712


Christian Harder
PokerStars player

Cliff Josephy

Michael Vela

Aleksei Opalikhin

Michael Gentili

Rasmus Glæsel