PCA 2014: Fireballs, explosives and other foggy stories from the players' party
Everyone raised their glasses.
All around were clinks of celebration.
Smiles broke out on faces.
A million balls of light lit the heavens.
This was the scene at roughly 22:22 Eastern Time in paradise last night, where the crystal-clear skies were disrupted by a red spade made of fire. Below it, players, workers, drinkers, friends, wives, husbands, and others celebrated with free drinks, food and good times. It was the PCA players' party, and trust us, it was an absolute hoot!
Held towards the tail-end of each year's festival, the players' party is a way of thanking everybody for making the PCA a highlight on the poker calendar. It's a chance to unwind after days of sitting on the beach, maybe grab a selfie with some pros, and almost definitely make some questionable decisions.
Hundreds packed their way into the transformed Atlantis Resort's Royal Baths area for the occasion. As they huddled around the pool, attendees munched on carved turkey, pasta, beef and whatever else they could pile onto their plates, while busy servers flitted around the crowd carrying Marker's Marks, white wines and a Kalik beer or five.
In the pool there were fireball cannons. To the right was a massive dance floor. Behind us the Royal Towers were aglow, and dotted around were loudly-dressed dancers. Somewhere a woman came dressed as a sequin.
Above it all popped close to six-figures' worth of fireworks.
The dial was definitely turned up to 11 thanks in no small part to the PokerStars Events Team, who readied the tables, hired the performers and welcomed this year's revellers with a smile. Judging by the bleary eyes on show in the Imperial Ballroom today (PokerStars Blog team aside, obviously) a damn fine job they did, too.
Luckily for some -- regrettably for others -- the night didn't stop out by the poolside. Once food had been consumed and drinks drunk, it was on to Aura nightclub for the after party. There... ummmmm... to be honest, we're not quite sure what happened there. If anyone can remember, they probably weren't doing things right.
For a more accurate picture of the night, check out the images and video below, and if you woke up wearing a wristband this morning thanks for coming. Hopefully we can do it all again next year.
Keir Mackay is a copywriter for PokerStars.