PCA 2012: Once more into the cavern for the main event

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpgIn Carlsbad, New Mexico, there is a giant cave filled with bats. To the average eye, they are an unorganized mammalian mass with no direction or purpose. But each night at dusk, those bats rise as one from the mouth of the cave to feast upon their nightly supper. To anyone watching, it's a black cyclone exploding from the ground, one that has clear purpose and meaning. It's there to eat the night.

In 2005 when the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure first came to Atlantis, a small conference room held all the players, cash games, and the media (which at that point, if I recall correctly, consisted of exactly...me). A couple of years later, that same conference room struggled to even handle a PCA cocktail reception. Indeed, over the past seven years, the main event starting fields have moved from a conference room, to a ball room, to what we see today. How big is it? Well, when Jerry Seinfeld plays the Bahamas, this is the room he uses. So, it's big.

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Atlantis, home to the PCA main event

Over the past hour, this cavernous place filled up. Hundreds of players filed in, bats in a giant cave looking for a place to roost. At first, they seemed to be directionless. From above, a disembodied voice fill their heads.

"All the main event players, if you could just start taking your seats..."

That voice belongs to Mike Ward, the man who has served as tournament director for every PCA since it began in 2004. It's his job to herd the bats together in such a way that they can rise into the night to feed on the millions the 2012 PCA main event will produce.

Today and tonight, the hundreds of players here will play nine one-hour levels. They'll get a break every couple of hours, and they'll get 75 minutes to eat dinner around 6:30 pm. It's the beginning of their quest to become the next Gus Hansen, John Gale, Steve Paul, Ryan Daut, ElkY, Poorya Nazari, Harrison Gimbel, and Galen Hall. That is, today's first feeding puts them on the path to potentially becoming the next PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event champion.

Just as it's been since 2005, the PokerStars Blog will be your best source for all the PCA news over the nest week. Keep it right here as we find the next champion,