Team PokerStars Pros eye up the PCA side events
Ok.. so obviously they all want to win the main event.. and the $25k high roller if they can squeeze that in as well. But what else are members of Team PokerStars Pro eyeing up on the PCA schedule? It's not like there's a shortage of events going on - in fact, there's more than 50 during the PCA festival, ranging from heads-up to Badugi, High Roller to the 8-game championship, MTT online tournaments to Triple Stud - a veritable smorgasbord of poker entertainment to keep everyone well off the beaches and firmly lodged in the Atlantis poker room.
Perhaps predictably, some of the team have their eyes set on events they've already won before - going for that elusive double title - while others are looking forward to the chance to compete live - often for the very first time - in poker variants which mirror their online favourites.
Canadian poker legend Daniel Negreanu is relishing the prospect of the $5k 8-game Championship - a game which rewards those with a broad range of skills. He said: "PokerStars is the home of the 8-game mix, the only poker site to offer it online, and I pride myself on being a well-rounded player." Who else fancies the 8-game? Well, both Luca Pagano and Greg Raymer for starters.. as Luca admitted: "The skill factor is very high in 8-game and, for pro players, there's always a lot of excitement around these games."
For German Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater, the PCA will provide her with a unique chance to sample Badugi and 2-7 Mix in a live setting. She frequently plays the games online and is looking forward to transferring what she's learned. She won't be alone; fellow team member and former world champion Greg Raymer is also eyeing up the January 6 event. Greg loves both games and, with neither game that common yet, looks forward to finding inexperienced opponents.
Greg also aims to compete in the $1k triple stud tournament. He said: "Looking back over my entire tournament poker career, I've probably done best in stud tournaments. I always enjoy razz and Stud 8 is definitely my favorite form of poker overall."
Swedish Pro William Thorson will be launching an assault on all the big buy-in Omaha tournaments such as the $5k No Limit, $5k PLO and $2k PLO heads-up while Hevad Khan will be playing the PCA $2k NLHE side event .. why? because he won it last year of course.
The $2k Battleship Multi Tabling Championship is what's tempting EPT3 Grand Final winner Gavin Griffin. He said: "This is a tournament you won't find anywhere else and it should be exciting both to watch and play in."
World champion Joe Cada and EPT4 San Remo winner Jason Mercier have both already chosen their partners for the first ever live PokerStars Tag Team event. Joe is joining forces with his friend Tony Gargano for the $2k event - in which one team member plays Pot Limit Hold'em and the other PLO - while Jason is teaming up with online pro Christian "charder" Harder. Jason said: "This will be the first time anyone has ran a tournament like this and we are both very excited about it."
But for many of the team, it's the heads-up which is creating the most excitement. PokerStars has never hosted live heads-up tournaments before but PCA players will have not just a variety of buy-ins to choose from ($5k, $2k and $1k) but both NLHE and PLO as well.
Who's up for heads-up? Well, Vanessa Rousso (great heads-up track record) is expecting to do well, heads-up mavericks Johnny Lodden and Dario Minieri are definitely on for it and so is EPT3 London winner Vicky Coren .. although Vicky's motives are not 100% poker-related as she's worked out that playing Heads-Up means she might also have time for the beach. She said: "said: "Intense one-on-one poker action for a few hours, then an afternoon in the sea; that's what I call a holiday."
For more info on the PCA, please visit our special PCA website. Satellites are running right up until December 27th.