2008 PCA: Battleships begin blasting

One $8,000 tournament was never going to be enough for the battalion of poker players that has made its way to the Bahamas this week, and as the main event continues, there have been hundreds of cash games and sit and goes underway, as well as two $1,000 side-events.

Then, this afternoon, the third annual PokerStars World Championship of Battleship Poker began in the Grand Ballroom, giving a head-to-head, laptop-to-laptop fix for all those stumping up the $2,000 entry fee.

For those who haven't seen this before, Battleship Poker made its debut at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2006. Everyone remembers the kids' game, where two players sit opposite one another and try to sink each other's fleet of ships by calling out their grid reference numbers.

The World Championship of Battleship Poker

Poker Battleship follows a similar format: two players flip open their laptops and sit across the table from one another, then log on to PokerStars and play a heads-up sit and go.

These kind of matches happen all the time online, but they are significantly more spicy when table talk (instead of table type) is possible. And the Caribbean backdrop doesn't hurt either: there may or may not have been a couple of cocktails involved.

We played the first flight this afternoon, where the 16 winners from the first round of 32 progressed to the second stage and were pitted against one another. The surviving eight, then went through, and played four match-ups.

The final four from today all made the money, but still played one more match. The same thing will happen tomorrow and that will leave four players to scrap for the major cash as the main event plays down to the final table.

Today's final four included a couple of notable names. Vanessa Selbst made two World Series final tables in 2007, adding to her 7th place finish in a $2000 hold 'em event in 2006.

Sorel Mizzi doesn't need a whole lot of introduction either. Imper1um has been tearing up the online tables for a good long while, and he's in his element here. Last year he was the champion of the Battleship event at the PCA. Today, he's back in the cash.


Sorel Mizzi

Just a bit ago ago, they took on Matt Kay and Mike Glasser for the last two spots. And both won. Those two go through to await the final players from tomorrow's flight. We'll have the coverage here, of course.

Meanwhile, here is the prize structure:

1st - $44,800
2nd - $25,600
3rd-4th - $12,800
5th - 8th - $8,000

Photos © Neil Stoddart