All I want for Christmas is a trip to paradise

Now that the Christmas presents are selected and under the tree isn't it time to think about something fun for after the holidays? If you're a poker player, then you may be pining for some time to play your favorite game and unwind from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. A place where it's warm and beautiful would be the icing on the cake, and the ability to play almost around the clock would be pure heaven. That's what PokerStars thought when they planned the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure 10 years ago, and the success of the event has proven that they knew exactly what people wanted.

The PCA kicks off January 5 at the beautiful Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas and you can still make that top of the list dream Christmas wish come true by joining us there. The PokerStars Women Live Event runs January 12 -13 and is one of the biggest and most popular events of the year. What makes it such a popular event, you may well be asking, and why is it the best choice for a mid-winter poker getaway?

That was the question we posed to several Team PokerStars Pros including Liv Boeree, Ana Marquez, Fatima Moreira De Melo, and Vanessa Selbst. They all weighed in with their perspectives along with some good advice.

Liv Boeree started us off with these comments, "I would treat the trip as a vacation--one where you can not only play poker (and hopefully win!) but also as a great location for partners, family or whomever else you want to bring. That's the best thing about the PCA--it's not just poker, poker, poker, there are a gazillion fun things to do!" Liv also mentioned that she "loves all the nature, sea life, waterslides and exciting things to do at the PCA."

Fatima Moreira De Melo has a similar perspective, "I would just go for it. Instead of going shopping, or lying on the beach, you'll have the opportunity to improve your game, have fun and maybe win some cash."

Ana's recommendations were similar. She remarked, "Just give it a shot--it's a win-win situation. Coming to the PCA is fun already, and playing, even if they lose, will be good practice for future tournaments. And if they do well, they can win money."

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Ana Marquez

Vanessa wrapped it up with a quote that says it all, "I would just say that Atlantis is a great resort so you can come with your family and they will have a nice vacation while you play the event. This is the best women's event of the year by far, so it's a great opportunity to get some live poker experience with a structure that's much better than the structure at the WSOP. If you're thinking about playing any women's tournament for the first time, this would be the one to play."

We also talked to an amateur player who has a unique perspective on the event as well. As a player who has played every PokerStars Women Live event so far and placed 25th in the Main Event in 2009 (after winning a satellite to get in), Elizabeth Bennett-Martin has some great observations on the PCA. She says that the women's event is popular due to a number of factors, the first having to do with the caliber of players. "More professional women poker players are realizing that this is an attractive event with a good prize pool and therefore, each event has more pros. This adds to the excitement and the competition."

And the best thing overall about playing the women's event, according to Elizabeth, is the overall atmosphere. "They tend to be exciting and positive events as most of the players are easy going. They are there not only for the chance to win, but for the pleasure of playing. There is a lot of positive attitude at the tables."

But the event for her is not only about poker; it's about the opportunity to share time with family in a great location while doing something she loves. "The PCA, given its location, is a wonderful family vacation spot with something for everyone! My parents and my immediate family come, along with some extended family and friends, and we all look forward to it very much! Once the satellites start running, they are all waiting to hear back from me that I won the trip because they all want to go back, especially my boys, who are 12 and 14. Elizabeth has her trip booked for the family to return this year for the fifth year in a row.

So after hearing all this, you must be making those plane reservations as we speak. I think I hear you clicking away at your keyboards in the background right now. I'll let you get back to it, but just want to pass on some additional information you might want to check out. Details about all the tournaments at the PCA, including the PokerStars Women Live Event, can be found here.

In addition, you can read more about the women's event and all the poker news about women at the PokerStars Women home page. And for up-to-the minute details on everything going on at PokerStars Women see our Facebook page here.

Rebekah Mercer
@PokerStars in PS Women