PCA 2012: Morning in Atlantis as Day 1B begins

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Morning at Atlantis, and provided you weren't up late until morning, this can be the best part of the day at Atlantis, particular on some of the resorts unspoiled beaches.

It may be a little different during the day, with several hundred people competing for their own corner of Paradise in the sand, but in the early hours it's just you, the sun and a handful of other early birds with the place to yourself.

Walk along some of the seven miles of white sand and you might only bump into a seagull or a guy raking away seaweed. To each you'll feel compelled to say "good morning!" The reply you get isn't always predictable.

"Smoke any good trees this morning?"

At first I thought this guy was making a remark about my jogging outfit - an old EPT t-shirt, discount shorts and a pair of trainers I bought in 1998, that only someone slightly unhinged would be seen outdoors in. After I asked for clarification - which he declined - I realised he was talking about something else.

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Atlantis in the morning

Other than that the walk (I quickly gave up the idea of jogging) passed without incident. A few early risers were setting up camp in the sand, a few more were getting their feet wet.

Two boys were on their hands and knees building what looked like the outer wall of a stone keep castle. Powered by the imagination of being seven, they seemed convinced they could hold back the sea if they dug well enough, and who had the heart to tell them otherwise? Besides, a beach in paradise, and the optimism the early sunshine can instil, can make you think anything is possible.

In fact the only thing contrary to this thought was the hotel morning shift, taking breaks in groups wearing sweaters and wind breakers against the frosty 23 degree weather. I said good morning to them also as I dusted the sand from my feet but I can only assume they were too cold to speak.

All this is perfect preparation for a day at the tables, or a few feet away watching them. Today we expect something like 700 players to take their seats in the tournament room, clogging up the bathrooms at break and forming an almighty queue at Starbucks. It's what adds novelty to an event like his - massive numbers, a massive tournament room and a massive prize at the end. And hey, if it doesn't work out the world beyond the tournament door isn't so bad. Personally, I don't need to smoke any trees to enjoy it.

That's coming up today at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Play starts at 12 noon.