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My own private PCA

I'm just coming off my first ever PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. It was a great experience overall, and a fun way to kick off the new year.

I'm not really a huge Christmas person -- not that I dislike it, I just don't get as excited about it as some people do. So I was kind of glad once the holidays were behind us and was looking forward to my first PCA.

Like happened with a lot of people, the bad weather in the U.S. did affect my traveling to Nassau. I had delayed flights and was a little worried at one point that I wouldn't even make it in time to play the Main Event, but luckily I did.

Instead of staying at the venue I stayed in an apartment that was very close. It was literally less than a one-minute walk away. I prefer doing that because it is good to be able to disconnect and relax in a quiet place. The apartment had a little kitchen and was more cozy and a lot better than hotel life, at least for me.

The jet lag wasn't too bad for me and I was able to have a good night's sleep and even go for a run the morning before the Main Event began.

NEIL5724__PCA2014_Leo_Margets_Neil Stoddart.jpg

The first day of the Main Event things didn't go especially well but I didn't have such a bad day, finishing with 52,000 after starting with 30,000. Then Day 2 was total agony. I had the worst table with super-aggressive players to my left, and really after just a couple of hours I realized my main objective was simply going to be to survive. But I was able to make it through to Day 3 with something like 90,000, and I was relieved to do so. I really thought it couldn't get worse in terms of table draws.

Then I arrived for Day 3 and discovered, yes, it could get worse! I was sitting at the secondary television table with the chip leader a couple of seats to my left and a very difficult player on my immediate left.

I started Day 3 with about 40 big blinds which is a tricky-sized stack to play, especially when nearing the money bubble. I didn't have room to open much, particularly because the guy to my left was three-betting a lot. In fact after he three-bet me three times I just nitted up. I was only being dealt rags, anyway, which made it easier to keep folding, but as we got closer and closer to the money I just kept sitting tight with my short stack.

Finally the bubble burst and by then I was down to about 12 big blinds. Not long after that I had to push with king-queen and got called by ace-queen, and that was that. It would have been awesome to have gone deeper -- I ended up finishing 143rd for $18,200 -- but I was satisfied to make the money.

It's always nice to start of the year with a cash -- even a small one -- and I'm very motivated going forward!

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