2008 PCA: Blowing into Atlantis

Island time.

It's a phrase used to describe a certain relaxed attitude toward the urgency of a mission. It's also the phrase one could've applied to the man who brought us here. Suffice it to say, the cab driver was not in a hurry. He had a woman to pick up, a gas tank to fill, and a dinner to order before dropping us at our destination, the luxurious Atlantis Resort and Casino. Regardless, the hungry, lonely, un-fueled driver brought this weary crew of blog writers to the one place in the Bahamas where a poker player (and yea verily, a poker writer) can feel at home.

As I type, poker players and their ilk are making their way onto Paradise Island. As the world turns and waves crash, the weather is not what forecasters would call ideal. The temperature is below normal and wind is making a play for hurricane status. If it weren't for the cheery predictions of sunny skies and 80 degree days on Saturday, some folks here might find reason to be depressed. Instead, everyone is looking toward fantastic weather and what is certain to be the biggest PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in its five-year history. The prize pool is creeping ever closer to a record amount. Tournament director Mike Ward is all but assuring more than 1,200 players. If for some reason the tournament should find its way toward 1,300 players, the prize pool would hit an astounding $10,000,000.

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The wind-blown beach on Paradise Island

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The biggest poker room in PCA history in set-up mode


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Player bags waiting for their owners


The Grand Ballroom of the Atlantis is now outfitted with more than 60 poker tables, enough to accommodate the expected 1,200 players at the 2008 PCA. Already, organizers are making preparations for insane cash games, and a multitude of single-table and multi-table tournaments. More than 100 dealers are finding their rooms and massaging their hands in expectation of eight days of hard-core dealing.

Tonight, 20 mile per hour winds are pushing the sea onto the beach and blowing red flag warnings toward the hotel. By the time the tournament starts, the winds will have settled and sunburns will be the only thing about which to worry.

By this time tomorrow, most all the players will be here and full from the PokerStars welcome party. Right now, however, the story is all about enjoying what Atlantis has to offer.

Here are a few things to note as you prepare for the greatest week in live poker.

  • The poker room opens Friday at 6pm.

  • PokerStars will host a welcome party at 7:30pm in the Imperial Ballroom.

  • The PCA will run one live super satellite on Friday. Registration opens at 5pm for the 8pm $500 (with a $400 one-time re-buy) super satellite.

  • Players with PokerStars accounts will be able to withdraw up to $10,000 cash each day. On Friday, players will be able to access their accounts from 9-11pm. Every other day, accounts will be open from 12pm-2pm, and 7pm-9pm.

  • Registration for the PCA is scheduled remain open until the beginning of Day 1B and there will be the opportunity for alternate players. However, due to unprecedented demand, everyone should be aware, registration could be cut off without notice. It is in every player's best interest to register as soon as possible.

    For the PCA-traveler waking up on Friday morning, that's all you need to know.

    For everyone headed here on Friday, we wish you a safe and comfortable journey.

    For all updated information on the PCA, visit EPT.com