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PokerStars Gears Up For Fifteenth PokerStars Caribbean Adventure In The Bahamas

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Dec 06, 2017

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The PCA is back!

And not just in name. The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which spent the last year known as the PokerStars Championship Bahamas, has returned for another series at the beautiful Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. To celebrate the occasion, PokerStars has packed the nine-day tournament schedule with 31 events between Jan. 6-14, including the recently re-instated $10,000 buy-in main event.

PokerStars has also made a concentrated effort to listen to player feedback, which resulted in not only restoring the history-rich PCA name and buy-in, but also by making it one of the most anticipated events on the tournament calendar for 2018.

PokerStars will offer a $50,000 live freeroll on Jan. 14 for anyone who plays in a PCA event. To celebrate the return of the PCA Bahamas 2018, players can enjoy the one off special reduction in admin fees that tournament organizers have introduced, which have been capped at $300 for every tournament with a buy-in of $10,000 or more, and reducing them by 50 percent in all tournaments with faster structures. The smaller fees will result in about $300,000 going back into the overall prize pool.

There is plenty for every player and every bankroll. In addition to no-limit hold’em, other games on the streamlined and tailored schedule include pot-limit Omaha and pot-limit Omaha eight-or-better, as well as variations such as re-entries, knockouts and turbos. Players will have a chance to play with Team PokerStars Pros Andre Akkari, Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Gross, Fatima de Melo, Kevin Martin, and Jaime Staples.

For those looking for more modest options, there will be tournaments starting at just $160 to $330. The high rollers, however, will have the opportunity to kick off the year by putting big money in play with the $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 buy-in events. Anyone who makes a final table at the PCA this year will also receive a special gift worth up to $500. Prizes include iPads, GoPros, digital cameras and more.

Of course, there will also be plenty of cash games for those who find themselves on the rail. Cash games will begin every day at noon and run until 4 a.m, except for Jan. 14 when the room closes at midnight. Games spread will include hold’em, Omaha, Stud, and Chinese poker with blinds anywhere from $1-$2 all the way up to $200-$400.

There will be a $50,000 player giveaway with six lucky players winning as much as $20,000 in a random draw. Players can earn draw tickets by taking their seat in any tournament before the end of the first level, finishing on the bubble of any event, or by finishing in the money. Even cash game players can earn draw tickets by making a full house, quads or a Royal flush. There are also high hand bonuses throughout the series.

Additionally, PokerStars is giving out player bags worth $200 each, is setting up a player lounge complete with a bar and VR stations, and everyone is invited to a player party on Jan. 13

A Look Back At The PCA Over The Years

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure actually began in 2004 as an event on the World Poker Tour. In 2008, it was moved to the European Poker Tour and even served as the inaugural event of the North American Poker Tour in 2010 before briefly having its name changed to the PokerStars Championship Bahamas in 2017.

As a staple of the circuit since the poker boom, it’s no wonder why the PCA has become a favorite tournament destination for many of the world’s best grinders, including members of Team PokerStars Pro. The tournament has also proven popular with celebrities, as comedian Kevin Hart, actor Aaron Paul and pro golfer Sergio Garcia, played in events last year. Hart is scheduled to return this year, along with the world’s fastest man, eight-time gold medalist Usain Bolt, for a special face-to-face battle at the poker table.

In the past, the PCA has also seen the likes of R&B singer Kelly Rowland, guitar legend Slash, former NBA star John Salley, Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo, Entourage star Kevin Dillon, Austin Powers star Verne Troyer and TV personality Ricki Lake.

Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, who banked $2 million after winning the first EPT version of the PCA back in 2008 and then followed that up by winning the $25,000 high roller the next year for another $433,500, has very fond memories of the event.

“My best memories are definitely at the PCA, as 2008 was my breakout moment and my first live tournament win,” said Grospellier. “It had even more meaning because the PCA was the tournament which was comprised of the most PokerStars online players, and as an original online grinder myself, that victory is still the dearest to my heart. It launched my career. Coming back the next year and then winning the first PokerStars high roller tournament just made the story even better.”

Team PokerStars Pro Felipe Ramos has made the PCA an annual tradition for the last decade.

“The first time I played the PCA was in 2009,” said Ramos. “This means 2018 will be no. 10 for me. Living the poker pro lifestyle can sometimes be tough, but it is also very rewarding. I remember that first year when I made it through day 1 as the chip leader with 18 times my starting stack, which until recently was a record. The PCA is for sure one of my favorite stops on the circuit.”

Chris Moneymaker, the 2003 World Series of Poker main event champion and man partially responsible for launching the poker boom, finished 11th in the 2011 PCA main event for $130,000, and counts that among his favorite poker memories.

“The PCA is always a great time,” said Moneymaker. “I remember some great times, like when I owned Chris Oliver during the main event (check it out on YouTube), or when I played eight people heads-up at the same time and had to drink a beer for every loss. Even without poker, I had fun racing Humberto Brenes down the water slides, destroying souls in foosball, or just hanging with the family at the resort.”

Of course, being in the Bahamas allows players to do a lot more than just play cards or hang out by the pool, as evidenced by this memory from newly signed Team Pokerstars Pro Jeff Gross.

“My favorite memory off the tables is taking a plane with Bill Perkins and my wife to the beautiful Exuma (a district of the island) and swimming with sharks, as well as checking out Pig Island (one of the bigger cays). This was a very memorable trip, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a day trip while at Atlantis.”

How To Play In The 2018 PCA

Players can buy-in onsite using either cash, chips or your PokerStars account. Visit www.pokerstarslive.com/pca/buy-in for more details and information.

Those who purchase packages directly will receive nine nights of hotel accommodation at the Atlantis Resort. Anyone else looking to book at the resort can inquire directly by contacting bahamas@meridican.com or by visiting www.pokerstarslive.com/pca/travel. ♠