PCA 2012: Haxton leads Paradise curtain raiser

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The first day of the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is in the bag, with 12 players eliminated from the curtain raiser, a high maintenance example of how poker has its great but also has its elite, 30 of them here today.

For good measure it also has its rich; the $100,000 price tag still reasonable enough for two players to re-buy, one being relative novice Bill Perkins. The other was former World Champion Jonathan Duhamel, who demonstrated great financial instinct by then taking the chip lead.

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Isaac Haxton

But it's not the Canadian leading tonight. That tag goes to high rolling regular Isaac Haxton, with 1,240,000 chips to return to tomorrow.

The Super High Roller has been something of a low key start to this years' festival. Ironic you might think, but the four tables in play are tucked into a plush side room, as detailed earlier, equipped with its own bar, away from what will likely become the bustling hub of the PCA - the main ball room - when the first super satellite begins ahead of the start of the main event on Saturday.

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Super High Rollers in action

For now the game's elite take centre stage (literally tomorrow, when all the action at the tables is given the television treatment), with the first prize now confirmed at $1,254,400. But only the top five will get paid.

One player not getting any of that will be last year's Super High Roller winner Eugene Katchalov, who can console himself with having become the Bluff Player of the Year for 2011, something he talked about in our coverage today.

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Eugene Katchalov

Not surprisingly there were no soft spots today, with the likes of Viktor Blom, ElkY, Daniel Negreanu, Mike McDonald, Isaac Haxton, Erik Seidel and Jason Mercier each returning tomorrow.

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Team PokerStars Pro Viktor Blom

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Bertrand Grospellier

Outside Atlantis was the same focal point of happiness, an island of joy for tourists looking for out of season sunshine. At least it was for most people, although we spared a thought for press room colleague Erik Rosenberg, whose eventful journey here was a little too adventurous.

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'That' windscreen

For tourists and poker players alike the question of where and what to eat was handled in detail. Last night's trip to the Poop Deck across the bridge in Nassau, turned Simon Young into Ahab, while we reminded ourselves of a Paradise Island favourite with The Jamba Run. Keeping the fish theme going Boss Young then went all Attenborough on us as he got acquainted with some cownosed rays.

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A member of staff, armed with a bucket, is thrown to the rays at feeding time

One day done and so far a great welcome to Paradise. Click through the Super High Roller link on the PokerStars Blog for all the latest action and chip counts, while a list of potential prop-bets will give you something to think about until play resumes at noon tomorrow.

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The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island

For now it's good night from the PCA.
All photography © Joe Giron/www.joegironphotography.com