PCA: Paradise Eve

If you missed yesterday's preview, click here for a look at the Atlantis Resort and Casino

Nineteenth century European aristocrat Otto Van Bismarck may have had it right when he said "People who enjoy eating sausage and obey the law should not watch either being made." Still, while I'm not one to question the aristocracy, there is something to be said for the perspective one gains by getting a sneak peak behind the scenes.

If you're still on your way down to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, you will miss the sausage-making process. This is the day it all comes together. Early this morning (or, early in poker players' term) the team behind the PCA came together and kicked the event into high gear.

Who is behind the scenes? Well, there are a lot of people, some of whom you may never have time to meet. However, there are a few faces you should know before you arrive.




Sharon Goldman

That's Sharon Goldman, the queen diva of all things PCA. If there is a reasonable question, she nearly always has a reasonable answer. She very well could be the first person from PokerStars you see when you arrive. Be nice to her and she'll surely be nice to you.




Mike Ward (left) and Dan Goldman

Meet Mike Ward and Dan Goldman. If you've been to the PCA before, you already know these guys. Mike Ward is the tournament director for the PCA and will be running the big show. Dan Goldman, VP of Marketing at PokerStars, is another Goldman who knows just about everything there is to know about the PCA and is largely responsible for the event being everything it is.




Rich Korbin

That's Rich Korbin. When you show up on Wednesday, you'll get a great bag full of great PokerStars stuff. Be sure to say thanks to Rich, because he made it happen. And when you see what's coming at the bottom of this post, you'll see how big a task that actually is.




Ellis Romero

If you've spent any reasonable amount of time online, you've likely run into HostEllis. This week, Ellis, a former card room manager, has made the foray back into the world of live poker and will be taking care of the players monetary needs. There will be points throughout the day at which players will be able to withdraw money from their PokerStars accounts. Ellis will be making sure that happens as smoothly as possible.




Brad "Otis" Willis, in the same state of fatigue you should expect to see him at the PCA (Photo courtesy of Linda from PokerWorks.com)

And, again, that's me. I can't guarantee I can answer every question, but I can easily point you in the direction of the people with the answers. More importantly, I'll be taking your picture, telling your stories, and doing my best to make you blog-famous.

Beyond that, there are a few dozen people running around here too fast to even have their picture taken (case in point, Meg Patrick, who is getting the dealers ready to go).




The poker room, under construction

This year at the PCA, the poker room has moved to the Atlantis Grand Ballrooom. It's more spacious than last year and looks to be a great room for a poker tournament. It's easily found. The room is halfway between the Coral Tower and the Beach Tower. You will be checking in with PokerStars in a room adjacent to the poker room. That's where you'll be getting your schedules, participant's bracelets, and your bags full of goodies.



Getting the chips ready for play

The Bags

While we live in a world where machines can do just about everything, packing the goodie bags for the PCA is not something we've found a machine to do. So, this morning the PokerStars assembly line kicked in.




The mountain of boxes left over after unpacking the thousands of shirts, hats, books and other fun stuff the players will be receiving


The line of bags ready for stuffing


The assembly line at work


A ballroom of assembly line workers


One of hundreds of bags ready for the arrival of the players


The room full of bags

In less than 24 hours, hundreds of poker players will be turning this place into the Caribbean's biggest poker paradise.

We're waiting for you, folks.

PCA Blog Link of the Day: Jacqueline, a self-described poker widow, offers some things to do while your significant other is in the poker room