Bluffer's guide to the Americas Cup of Poker
Today one team will lift the Americas Cup of Poker for their country and pocket a cool $32,500. The tournament floor is full of coaches and captains and we've got two dealers on every table. Why two dealers? Because it's heads-up time in the Imperial Ballroom, and there are 10 one-on-one matches under way across five tables to see who advances to the final.
The Americas Cup is a generous beast, and everyone taking part this weekend is guaranteed at least $1,000. But for Teams Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, bigger rewards await.
Their stellar performances in the yesterday's Sit & Go openers granted safe passage through to Round 2, and they're currently battling for the top prizes. For those representing Argentina and Brazil, though, yesterday will be remembered for different reasons - more on that here.
Okay then, so that's two dealers, Sit & Go's, captains, and coaches, oh and we forgot to mention points, seedings and play-offs. Confused? Don't be. Here's our bluffer's guide to the 2014 Americas Cup of Poker.
There are six teams taking part, each consisting of five players. Those players all earned their trip to the Bahamas by competing against thousands of others in a series of $0.55, $5.50 and $11 tournaments on PokerStars last October/November. When the dust had settled on a few hundred daily tournaments, the five best overall performers in each country were awarded a free package to this weekend's live final.
There's also one captain for each side, and one coach - many of whom are Team PokerStars Pros the likes of Team Brazil's Andre Akkari and Team Peru's adopted Costa Rican, Humberto Brenes - on hand to give out strategy tips.
For the full list of players and coaches, click here.
Round 1 - The Sit & Go's
At 14:00 Eastern Time on Friday, January 10, all six teams arrived for Round 1 of the Americas Cup. It consisted of five single table Sit & Go's with a tournament structure, and, depending on where players finished, between one and 10 points were awarded to their team. Points usually mean prizes, and in this case, that prize was based on seeding.
Time for an example: Chile finished Day 1 with the most points, Colombia finished fourth. That means before today's heads-up matches got under way, Chile were allowed to pick who each team member played, giving them a tactical advantage. Likewise, Peru finished second and Mexico third, so the Peruvians were given the right to choose their battles.
For Teams Brazil and Argentina, finishing joint fifth meant it was time for the play-offs.
Round 1.5 - The Play-offs
While Brazil and Argentina can no longer challenge for the $32,500 first prize, they can still add to their $5,000 team pay days. There's an additional $2,500 to play for -- the difference between finishing fifth overall and sixth -- and they'll square off later today in five heads-up matches to see who claims it. The first team to win three matches gets the extra dollars.
Round 2 - The Finals
Before that, though, we need to find our finalists. It's Team Chile versus Colombia, and Peru versus Mexico in the semis, and much like the play-offs, the first team in each tussle to win three of their five heads-up matches will advance.
So there you have it, the Americas Cup in a nutshell. We'll bring you more news from the tournament floor once the first of today's heads-up matches conclude Until then, see below for full details on all the prize money up for grabs.
Americas Cup of Poker
Date: January 11-12, 2014
Entries: Six teams
Prize pool: $100,000
Stay tuned to the PokerStars Blog for more from the Americas Cup and don't forget to click through to live updates, features and interviews from the $10,000,000 guaranteed PCA Main Event.
Keir Mackay is a copywriter for PokerStars.