PCA 2012: Welcome to Paradise
The familiar glare of out of season sunshine. The now welcome chintz of the Lagoon Tower. The smell of whatever it is they put the giant aquariums. The warm feeling you get from the Coral Bar right next door to the check-in desk.
Happy children wearing "This is what cute looks like" t-shirts and their parents waiting for their luggage to arrive. The look of poker players, who've already tried the water slides, looking for something to do between events. The look of those yet to try The Abyss (50 feet of vertical blackness followed by a 150 feet of your life flashing in front of your eyes) or the Leap of Faith (60 vertical feet of solid brass prayer).
The Leap of Faith
The banners, the hope, the expectation, the daring to dream and that crushing and brutal reality; this can only be the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Welcome to Paradise.
For hacks and old lags of the poker circuit the PCA can almost feel like routine. But then it's not routine. Something keeps the PCA different, separating it from all other poker tournaments with boundaries tested and envelopes pushed.
You can keep your historic European cities, your vibrant Asian hubs and the exotic novelty of Latin America. The PCA is the richest and most prestigious festival of poker beyond the World Series, and here you can walk outside in the daylight. It also has a beach. You don't get much better than that.
The Atlantis Resort
Today we put the PCA back in motion again. It never really stops, you can't just switch off something that has a life of its own. Instead it sits quietly humming in a back room of the Atlantis Resort, under tarpaulin, waiting for the world's best players to come give it a spin.
Those players are right here for the inaugural event of the 2012 festival, the ninth. It's Super High Roller time where poker elite, carting wheelbarrows full of cash ahead of them, pay $100,000 for a seat. It'll make someone significantly richer. While for the others, well, they'll be too busy in the main event (starting on Saturday) to care.
You'll find details of all of it, on and off the tables, right here as usual on the PokerStars Blog. You can also leave your comments in the appropriate box below. If you can't be here this is the next best thing. And if you want to know what the water slides are like from the comfort of your house, we may send Rick Dacey down them to find out.
Play meanwhile, starts shortly.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (in order of trips to Paradise): Brad Willis (8), Simon Young (4) Stephen Bartley (4) and Rick Dacey (3).