Shirley Rosario
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by Shirley Rosario

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Atlantis Casino PCA TournamentThe PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) is an annual event that takes place in the Bahamas at the Atlantis Resort and Casino. At one time, it was one of the stops on the World Poker Tour and the hugely successful European Poker Tour (EPT), but now it is is part of the North American Poker Tour (NAPT). It is the largest $10,000 buy-in besides the World Series of Poker Main Event and draws more than 1,000 entrants with a first prize in the millions.

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is one of the finest tournaments on the global circuit. In true PokerStars fashion, they pull out all the stops in hosting the PCA. They are far and away the best at holding events whether it be live or online. While the main event is the focal point of the week, there are several other events to choose from as well as activities to keep everyone busy.

PokerStars PartyThe whole experience begins with the PokerStars welcome party. Thousands of people come together to eat, drink, and mingle. It is here players have the best opportunity to have a conversation with one of the members of Team PokerStars Pro. Some of the pros include Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Joe Hachem, and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier. There is complimentary food and drinks and the entertainment is Bahamian themed.

The following day, the main event begins and players who are registered to play on Day 1a take their seats. Day 1b players have the day off because they don't begin until the following day (Day 1a players have their day off on this day). After the first two days of the tournament (Day 1a and Day 1b), the  side events begin. The $25,000 High Roller Event is the most prestigious and PokerStars usually limits the amount of entrants into this event. The who's who in poker can usually be seen playing in the large buy-in event if they were one of the unfortunate casualties of the main event. If $25k is too much to ante up, then there are $5,000, $2,000, and $1,000 No Limit Hold'em events to choose from with each of them starting on a different day. Another tournament that is offered is the Battleship Poker Event. This event also has a cap and the first 64 players who register can try and win the heads-up title. The difference between the heads-up match at the PCA and other heads-up matches is that it combines playing online with looking at your opponent face to face. The players battle their opponents in person while playing on the computer.

There is plenty of poker besides the numerous tournaments that are held throughout the week. There are satellites into several of the events and there are sit n go's ranging from $50 to $400 running throughout the day. The World Cup of Poker is also held during the busy week and players from different countries face off to see what country reigns supreme. If live action poker is more appealing, there are a wide variety of games including No Limit Holdem, Pot Limit Omaha, and HORSE and limits ranging from $2-5 to $400-800.

PokerStars FPP StorePokerStars thinks of everything and they set up a players lounge where the players can relax on one of the couches or watch television (usually poker or sports) in a viewing area. There was also several games that anybody could participate in including Wii bowling, Foosball, Pool, and Backgammon. Often times, a player could enjoy competing in the games with one of the members of Team PokerStars. Other things that Stars offered their players were a brick and mortar fpp store where you could browse and try on any of the items you can buy online with your fpp points and a bank where players can withdraw or deposit directly into their PokerStars account. One other feature that has been offered at the PCA is a poker camp where players can learn or hone their skills from some of the best players in the game.

If all that weren't enough, the Atlantis Resort has some amazing sights including its marine habitat containing approximately 50,000 animals and 200 species, numerous restaurants and bars, and the amazing Aquaventure water park where one can take a ride on the Lazy River or be a little more adventurous and ride on one of their many waterslides. There is also the beautiful beach with its white sand and beautiful blue ocean.

PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is a must stop for any traveling poker player. For more see my 2009 PCA and 2010 PCA reports.

Also see European Poker Tour, APPT, LAPT, Chile, and Costa Rica.