PCA memories: Behind the scenes

In the run-up to the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, there exists a bit of nostalgia. I've been fortunate enough to attend every one of PCA trips at the Atlantis Resort and Casino. It's been fascinating to watch the event and prize pools grow every year. I always walk away with both professional and personal memories. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll take a look at some stories and pictures from past years as both a trip down memory lane and a psyche-up for this year.

While most people know the PCA they see on TV (the final table held on the Dragon Deck overlooking some really blue water), few people see what happens behind the scenes...where the real poker and stories happen.

For instance, Atlantis is a really classy joint. Because it's a place where the hyper-rich like to play, there isn't a lot of patience for silliness. However, in the fog of war that is a poker tournament, some things can get overlooked. For instance, as play drags deep into the evening and chips are flying everywhere, one fatigued warrior can be left to his own respite...even if it happens on the edge of tournament play. The photo below is presented only because it's the ever time I've seen it happen.

The sleeper, circa 2006

While some people rest, others work. Take, for example, Joe Hachem. In January 2006, Hachem was still the reigning World Series champion. Because the poker media were still trying to get a feel for who Hachem was, he was continually referred to as a "former chiropractor." The description was not lost on the PokerStars staff. In fact, during the middle stages of the 2006 PCA, I found Hachem doing an impromptu adjustment gratis. It's not that often you find a world champion returning to his old day job.

One of my favorite pictures from any PCA came in 2006 when Lee Jones ran into the PokerStars office and yelled, "Brad, get your camera!" In the hall, I found this.

That same year, PokerStars kicked off the first-ever World Championship of Battleship Poker (an event with a hilariously disputed pedigree)

Since then, the Battleship event has become part of the annual schedule at the PCA. This photo is Greg "Fossilman" Raymer playing in the first-ever Battleship event.

More memories to come. Or if you prefer, see the PCA section in the right sidebar for coverage from all the previous events.