PCA 2015: Bubbles? Make mine a double

Bubbles are the worst, right? To come so close to the money and fall just short is arguably even worse than going out in the first couple of orbits. At least if you bust early in a PCA event you can go soak away your troubles in a nearby hot tub, the warm waters of the Caribbean or a 'Bahama Mama'. Or even a cocktail. Today at the PCA we're witnessing the debut of a new tournament format that sees not one but two bubbles. Oh, the humanity.

But here's the twist: this Double Bubble event promises to increase the fun factor in what is, let's face it, an already pretty damn fun game. You're probably wondering how two bubbles can be better than one. There's a very good reason, or to be more accurate, 2,200 good reasons.

You see, when this special turbo tourney hits the first bubble (when 50% of the field is eliminated) all remaining players will be guaranteed at least the $2,200 they paid to buy in, with the chance to win even more as the tourney progresses. And if there's one thing all poker players love, it's a freeroll. The post-bubble period in any tournament usually sees a huge amount of tension lifted, as players loosen up in the knowledge that they've made the money. It's once the turtles come out of their shells that the chips really start flying.

Chips_PCA 2015.jpgChips (non-flying)

Bubble number two happens with approximately 8% of the field remaining, when the more traditional payout ladder comes into effect. And while no one can guarantee that going out on the second bubble will be painless, at least it will only hurt your pride and not your wallet. As Head of Poker Communications Lee Jones puts it: "Whatever people's plans and dreams are at the beginning of a tournament, for most folks there comes a point where locking up some money right now is preferable to the possibility of more later".

For the moment, at least, 'more later' seems to be the more popular option. The inaugural running of the Double Bubble happens to be taking place just a few feet away from the one of the biggest LAPT Main Events ever held, which has a comparable buy-in but promises a truly life-changing prize. It's fair to say that the LAPT event is proving to be a far bigger draw today, but there will be more Double Bubble tournaments played before the curtain comes down on PCA 2015.

If you're at the PCA and want to experience PokerStars' latest tournament innovation for yourself, check the schedule for the next opportunity and give it a whirl. On the double.

Follow all the action from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at PokerStars Blog. Head to the Super High Roller page to see hand-by-hand updates and chip counts in the panel at the top of the page, with feature articles below. Action starts soon on EPT Live.

Adam Hampton is a copywriter for PokerStars.