As most of the States of America and Europe shiver their way through another winter, there are hundreds of players (and perhaps their loved ones) heading to more pleasant climes. If it is the start of January, it is time for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which begins on Saturday.
Kicking it Off with a Bang
One of the most talked about events in the world of poker will kick off the 2019 version of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The PokerStars Players’ Championship (PSPC), the $25,000 buy in tournament that has been the buzz of the poker community for the entirety of 2018, will actually come to life bright and early on Sunday morning. Saturday will mark one of the final opportunities for players to get into that tournament “on the cheap,” with a $2700 Qualifier set to begin at 6PM.
The PSPC is the brainchild of the “powers that be” at PokerStars, in essence their “thank you” note to the poker community. For the past year, $30,000 “Platinum Passes” ($25,000 entry fee, $5000 travel expenses) have been handed out to players around the world. It is estimated that 300 of these passes have been distributed to players for their performance on the felt (last year at the 2018 PCA, Maria Konnikova won one of the first passes for taking down the National Championship in the Bahamas), for their work in the game or just basically because! PokerStars didn’t stop there, however. The eventual champion of the PSPC will see another $1 million added to their eventual winnings straight from PokerStars.
The tournament itself will be “old school” in many ways. Starting with 60,000 in chips, it is a classic “freezeout” tournament, which means no rebuys, no reentries. The players are given one shot and, with a 60K stack, they should have plenty of opportunity for skillful play.
It is expected that there will actually be those who will buy into the tournament for the $25K price tag. Basically, the tournament is $8.5 million in “free” money (the Platinum Passes and the extra $1 million), with many pros licking their chops about getting ahold of some of that bounty. But the players who are there on their Pass won’t be quite as easy to vanquish as some of these professionals think.
But Wait! There’s More!
There’s plenty of poker activity for players outside of the PSPC. In total, there are 41 events on the roster stretching to January 16. There are several highlights embedded in the litany of tournaments, most notably the High Roller tourneys and, of course, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event.
The first High Roller event will be a $100,000 (with unlimited reentry) affair, otherwise known as the “Super High Roller.” It will kick off festivities on Thursday (January 10) and should draw a strong field for competition. The “poor man’s” version, the $25,000 High Roller event, will be a single re-entry tournament that will begin on Monday, January 14, and play through to a champion on the final day of the PCA on Wednesday (January 16). If this weren’t enough, there are several $100,000 and $25,000 “single day” tournaments on the PCA schedule.
The star of the show, however, is the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. The $10,000 buy-in tournament will feature a single re-entry for its players. It will also have multiple Day Ones, with Day 1A beginning on Friday (January 11) and Day 1B on Saturday (January 12). The field will come together on Day 2 on Sunday, at which point any late registration/re-entry will close.
Looking to defend her title is the first ever female champion of the PCA Main Event. Maria Lampropulos was a force during her run to the title in 2018, banking $1,081,100 for defeating a final table that included such difficult competition as Shawn Buchanan, Koray Aldemir and Adrian Mateos. Lampropulos would go on in 2018 to prove that it wasn’t a fluke victory, cashing in another 20 tournaments (including a High Roller victory at the 888Poker LIVE Barcelona) on her way to moving her career earnings over the $3 million mark and finishing in the Top 100 players in the world in 2018.
It promises to be an entertaining couple of weeks of poker and it signifies the start of the new poker year. It is the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and it all starts on Saturday!