PCA 2013: It's no party for the high rollers

It became apparent late last night that this high roller had shattered all expectations. For a start it was amassing a huge field, not only in actual bodies present, but in re-entries, with 44 players bouncing rather than busting, and re-entering before registration closed at noon today.

The effect of that has been a prize pool that's just two grand short of $5 million. It's a staggering amount when you consider that organisers had anticipated something along the lines of last year, which seated 141 players, seven of whom re-entered. On that basis a three day event, with a televised final on Monday, seemed sensible.

Atlantis with its glad rags on

What staff didn't count on was the dramatic increase in re-entries. Last year the option was given to players for the first few levels. This year it applied for the first day. Suddenly there were 157 players, which was straightforward enough, but 44 of them re-entered. The result, a much bigger field, a much bigger prize pool, but an administrative headache as they try to squeeze play into what time they have.

Players too spoke up about the matter late last night. For various reason players are loathe for levels to be moved or the format of an event to be altered. If it's going to be played, it's going to be played right, whether than means playing until 4am or pushing back the TV table.

It meant that players returning today were resigned to one thing, a long hard day of progress or elimination, and no free drinks with little umbrellas in them at the end.

The free-bar send-off for PCA players and their guests starts tonight at 8.30pm on the Royal Terrace under what are hoped will be clear skies. Two days ago the green light was given for an outdoor party (someone actually checks the forecast and made the call three days ago) and in years previous it's been a enchanting end to a fantastic festival of poker, before the shift to the Aura nightclub that is, which brings with it loud music, loud players and a pay-bar, and the disasters associated with them.

So it will be a matter of levels today, more one of hours, and a time at which play will be done. So far the agreed time is 4am.

Daniel Negreanu

That said one can't help wondering. At the time of writing Daniel Negreanu had become the most recent departure. Proceeding him were ElkY, Jason Mercier, Erik Seidel, Jonathan Duhamel, Isaac Haxton and Mike McDonald. Play continues.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter