Perhaps recognizing the error in their previous actions, The Stars Group has announced that their January tournament in the Bahamas will be returning in 2018, including a return to the name it was previously known as.
The 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will return to action at its traditional home at Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, the Bahamas, from January 6-14. Along with returning the original name of the event, PokerStars is also stepping out on a limb a bit in returning the buy in to its original amount. After spending several years as a $5000 buy in event, the 2018 PCA Main Event will be a $10,000 tournament, ensuring the tournament’s place in the pantheon of “must play” international poker tournaments.
The return to the PCA moniker was obviously on the minds of Stars Group officials. “We’re reviewing our live events and incorporating player feedback to ensure we’re delivering the highest quality experience and exceeding player expectations whenever possible,” Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars Director of Corporate Communications, stated during the announcement.
“This feedback included suggestions that we restore the PCA name and improve the quality of that event to reflect the great heritage and unique experience that made PCA one of the most-anticipated poker events of the year,” Hollreiser continued. “We’re restoring the name and reinvigorating the event to ensure it remains a premiere poker festival. We will also increase the promotions around PCA in order to bring even more people and make qualifying for packages as exciting as we can. We are committed to sending at least 400 players to this must-play event.”
There was plenty of outrage that came along with the 2017 tournament. Roughly along the same period as 2018’s play, the 2017 “PokerStars Championship Bahamas” featured over 90 events crammed into the timeframe. It seems that was too much, even for poker players who are always looking for action. Because of some of that criticism, PokerStars has streamlined the tournaments to a more sensible 30 events that will feature longer levels (40 minutes or more) and more play for the participants.
PokerStars is also looking out for the pocketbooks and wallets of PCA participants. Tournament fees have been reduced for the High Roller tournaments and any tournament with less than 19-minute levels will be reduced by 50%. These moves will allow the players to keep upwards of $300,000 in their bankrolls.
Finally, another complaint from the players regarding the 2017 tournament series was the treatment of those players. Many felt that they weren’t appreciated by PokerStars, especially after the decade-plus treatment by past ownership, with the parties and “SWAG” bags presented to the players. In response to this, PokerStars has set a large schedule of non-poker related activities and some “Q&A” sessions with Team PokerStars Pro members. Player parties are a key element of this change, including the aforementioned “SWAG” bags that will be valued at $200 each.
What isn’t being indicated by PokerStars nor The Stars Group is what will be the future of the “PokerStars Championship” or “PokerStars Festivals.” These events have been less than popular with players, including disappointing turnouts in Panama, Macau and Sochi. There isn’t any schedule beyond the final 2017 date in Prague, Czech Republic for the PokerStars Championship and there isn’t any indication whether the PCA will still be considered a part of the PokerStars Championship or whether the PokerStars Championship will continue to exist.
While a firm schedule hasn’t been set yet, satellites will begin running for the 2018 PCA in September. With the changes made, perhaps the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will return to its previous success.