Grad Student Wins $1.5 Million in PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

Final Table Pits NJ vs. NY in a Bridge and Tunnel Showdown

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

NASSAU, Bahamas, Jan. 11, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- When 22-year-old, Ryan Daut arrived on the shores of Paradise Island, he had no idea that he would return to New Jersey as a millionaire. Last night, Daut, a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics at Penn State won $1.5 million at the Fourth Annual PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) that began January 4th at the Atlantis Resort and Casino.

Daut battled 937 professional and amateur players, including four World Series of Poker champions for the lion's share of a seven million dollar prize pool. The 2007 PCA was the largest single event in World Poker Tour(r) (WPT) history, growing by more than 22% over the 2006 field. Most of the players attending won their tournament entries and paid vacations by qualifying online at, the world's largest poker site, some for as little as $6.

In a come-from-behind victory, Daut was short stacked with just two million dollars in chips heading into the final showdown against Isaac Haxton. Haxton, a native New Yorker finishing his undergraduate degree in computer science at Brown University, had roughly $9 million in chips when the final table began. After surviving two hours of intense play, Daut overcame incredible odds as hundreds of onlookers cheered when he won the match and took home the coveted PCA championship.

Daut said, "I'm still in shock; I can't believe it. This was a young and aggressive field that took the excitement of playing online at PokerStars and made it tangible. I am so glad PokerStars put together this great event to allow someone like me to compete, to win, and now -- to defend my title next year."

All of the final six players at the televised WPT final table honed their poker skills online and half of them won their entries to PCA on The 2007 PCA also attracted the world's top pros including former World Series of Poker champions Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker and Tom McEvoy, in addition to the WPT champions and final table finishers scattered throughout the record breaking field. However, the tournament culminated in a battle of online poker experts, with New Jersey's Daut outplaying Haxton for an underdog victory.

"More than ever, PCA is becoming the event where online players are proving that not only can they hold their own with the pros, they can beat them at their own game," said Lee Jones, PokerStars poker room manager. "PokerStars continues to be the most effective boot camp for turning poker players into champions."

The PCA also featured the first ever Moneymaker Millionaire Tournament. Inspired by the dramatic victory of Chris Moneymaker that transformed a $39 buy-in on into a $2.5 million win at the 2003 WSOP, the tournament turned Canadian native Quillan Nagel into an over night millionaire. Following the success of the 2006 inaugural World Championship of Battleship Poker, PokerStars also named Sorel Mizzi of Toronto, Canada as the new champion, taking home $45,000. Sixty-four poker players paid the $2,000 entry fee and played a series of live, heads-up matches on, reminiscent of the traditional table game "Battleship."

Coverage of the 2007 PCA final table will air June 6, 2007, on The Travel Channel as part of the network's hit show -- the WPT. The WPT airs in over 150 markets worldwide.

About PokerStars:

PokerStars ( is the world's largest and most innovative online poker site. PokerStars was the first site to introduce features that became industry standard such as sophisticated multi-table tournaments, integrated game statistics, players' notes, personalized images, time bank for tournaments and big bet ring games, satellite tournaments, multi-table sit and go tournaments, and much more.

To date, PokerStars has dealt out over seven billion hands and run more than 35 million poker tournaments, awarding well over $7 billion in prize money. PokerStars is the world's largest poker room, with over seven million registered player accounts. PokerStars' support team is truly unique, as help and assistance are available around the clock from people who know and understand the game of poker and the importance of impeccable customer service.

The PokerStars site is also one of the most secure. PokerStars uses industry-leading security software to ensure the integrity of the system, including encryption, card shuffle randomness and preventative measures against cheating and collusion. Money covering player's balances is held in segregated accounts managed by one of the leading European banks, ensuring that PokerStars can fulfill its obligations to players at all times.

In February 2006, became the first poker website ever to reach the 100,000 simultaneous player mark. That watershed achievement marked the largest poker event in history; an event important enough to make the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. Every week, the PokerStars "Sunday Million" is played, which the largest weekly tournament on the planet with a $1 million guaranteed tournament prize pool.

PokerStars is an official member of the World Poker Tour, and the title sponsor of the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. In the fall, PokerStars hosts the world's largest online tournament, the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), which this year featured a record prize pool of over $18 million. PokerStars also sponsors major events around the globe, such as the World Cup of Poker and other exciting tournaments. For more information, go to

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