The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2011 – bigger and better than ever
Monday, 17 January 2011
In 2005, the first PokerStars Caribbean Adventure was an event on the World Poker Tour with an $8,000 buy-in. The tropical tournament at the height of the poker boom attracted 461 entrants and Englishman John Gale defeated Alex Balandin heads-up to take home a prize of $890,600.
At this year’s PCA, the top four finishers in the $10,000 Main Event – now an EPT and NAPT rather than WPT event – were made millionaires. In fact, the PCA awarded an amazing seven million-dollar-plus prizes this year.
Eugene Katchalov and Daniel Negreanu both took home over a million for their first and second place finishes in the $100,000 Super High Roller; Galen Hall, Chris Oliver, Anton Ionel and Sam Stein all made over $1m for their final table; finally Will Molson took home just over $1m for winning the $25,000 High Roller event. With thousands of players (including 1,560 for the Main Event) is the PCA the new WSOP?
The growth of the event has been amazing, though a record field of “only” 31 more than last year disappointed many. The huge pre-registration, though, with over a thousand players winning seats online months previously, proves that the event has potential to usurp the WSOP as poker’s premier destination. Kicking off every calendar year with millions won in the sun, this year’s PCA was something special.
ESPN crews were present this time to film the standard $5,000 NAPT Bounty Shootout event but also a live stream of the Main Event final table and the $100,000 Super High Roller tournament. It takes only a look back at the PCA’s old hosts, the World Poker Tour, to see what television coverage can do for a poker tournament and when we have a well-run, popular event gaining this much momentum then the sky is the limit as far as future popularity goes. Especially when you get it on ESPN.
So what can we expect for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 2012? Perhaps another $100,000 Super High Roller with a big enough field to pay out an entire final table? Maybe even a $250,000 Super Mega High Roller? How about a 2,000-strong Main Event with a $20,000,000 prize pool?
Or, how about some random everyman mechanic named John Winsallthemoney takes it down and sparks the next poker boom? Could happen.
By the way, speaking of PokerStars tournaments:
I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers, so register on WBCOOP to play.
Registration code: XXXXXX 723931