PCA 2012: Fancy a little bit on the side?

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpgPokerStars live events have long been admired for providing a veritable feast of side events. But while most offer the usual array of no-limit hold'em, PLO or even mixed games, nothing has ever quite matched up to what's on offer at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure this week. This is, after all, the biggest 10-day festival of poker anywhere outside of Las Vegas, and the biggest has to be the best.

A look down the list of side events here in Atlantis throws up some names that I doubt most have heard of. Win the Button? Survivor? What about one called Rivers? Yep, they're new to me, but they're sure to be popular as those players not wishing to laze about on the beach look for a new poker challenge instead.

Win the Button, which starts today, is a $1,000 + $100 novelty that I'd love to play myself, save for the facts that I've got to work and that I don't have a spare $1,100 anyway. This is a traditional no limit hold'em event with a twist: whoever wins the pot also gets the button for the next hand. In the case of a split pot, the button moves to the winning player closest to the left of the existing button.

Suffice to say, if you're stuck to the immediate left of a player winning lots of small pots, you're going to be paying lots of blinds.

atlantis_pca_tournament_room.JPG

Side events galore running in the PCA tournament room

Survivor has nothing to do with a band that sang Eye of The Tiger. Instead, it's a novel no-limit hold'em event where the total prize pool is split into equal amounts of $10,000, and the number of chunks created equates to the number of players paid. It's a $1,000 (+$100) buy-in, so if there are 100 players there will be ten $10,000 prize spots. Survivor plays out tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5pm.

Fed up with the monotony of paying blinds every orbit? Then the $1,000 + $100 Ante Only side event on Wednesday at 5pm is for you. In this no-limit hold'em variant there are no small or big blinds. Instead, every player coughs up an ante every hand, a figure that goes up every level. With no blinds in play, there is no opening minimum bet required; everyone can check until someone puts in a raise.

On Thursday at 3pm you'll find the $1,000 + $100 PLO Dealer's Choice: 4 or 5 Cards. It's much like it sounds: whoever has the button gets to choose whether all players get four cards or five. If PLO is already a little tricky, trying playing it with five cards each.

Finally, another $1,000 + $100 no-limit hold'em game that will play like no other. It's on Friday at 5pm and is called Rivers. Here, all players get two hole cards as usual, then play the flop and the turn as normal. But once the turn betting is complete, the dealer burns a card and deals each player still in action a personal river card face down. Now players have to make the best hand from the four community cards and their two hole cards and personal river card.

Don't forget there is a huge array of more traditional side events, covering all buy-in levels, playing out every day, as well as Sit & Goes and cash games. See the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure website for all the details.