PCA 2014: The *real* start of the New Year

In something called the real world, it is the morning of Tuesday, January 7, 2014. But here in the Bahamas, where we're feeling the so-called Polar Vortex as little more than some light breeze and some drizzle, it is a far more significant day.

Today is Day 1A of the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, the opening flight of the poker tournament that will set a benchmark for all to follow in the coming year.

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Atlantis Resort, home of the PCA

The PCA always sets the bar early, and it always sets the bar high. At around mid-day yesterday, with more than 48 hours still remaining until registration closed, tournament administrators were reporting 575 players already signed up for this $10,000 buy-in event, including 472 who had won their seat online at PokerStars.

That top-line number will likely increase by about 40 per cent by the time all the counting is done. Last year, Dimitar Danchev bested 987 players to take $1,859,000 back to Bulgaria, and while the North Americans will be battling to bring the title back this side of the Atlantic, the Europeans will fight tooth and nail to keep it back over there.

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The reigning champ, Dimitar Danchev

Whoever prevails will need to survive six days, and vanquish most of the world's best players. The list of entrants is packed with quality as well as quantity and today's field is expected to include the likes of Lex Veldhuis, Johnny Lodden, Max Lykov, Eugene Katchalov, Liv Boeree, Vanessa Rousso and David Williams, all of Team PokerStars Pro.

There will also be Marc-Andre Ladouceur and Mickey Petersen, of Team Online, plus the former EPT champions Zimnan Ziyard and Michael Tureniec. The three-time NBA All Star Gilbert Arenas will swap basketball court for the tables, and Jason Alexander has got a pass from the Latvian Orthodox pastors to play.

Our coverage is comprehensive on PokerStars Blog, and it is simple to follow. The PCA 2014 Main Event page has a box at the top in which you'll find hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts after the action commences at noon. Below that are feature pieces, interviews and analysis updated throughout the day.

You can keep tabs in a similar fashion on the $100,000 Super High Roller page, which today plays to a winner. That tournament, headlined by Vanessa Selbst, will also be the focus of PCA Live.

It's likely cold outside wherever you are, so simply batten down the hatches, close the curtains and turn on the heating. We've got the poker action covered all day.

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Keep your eyes glued to the screen