PCA 2015: Finding little edges

Walking through the Atlantis earlier today my progress was impeded momentarily by a child awkwardly ambling in front of me.

Outside of the casino and tourney area one encounters a decent number of children here at the Atlantis. While from the perspective of an adult their behaviors might always seem a little eccentric, there was something conspicuous about the boy of about six in front of me with his exaggerated, sideways stepping.

I realized soon enough what was causing him to walk in such a way. The carpet. Take a look down there. Think like a kid.

It's kind of terrifying.


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Look out, below!

Throughout the resort, in the halls, meeting rooms, and here in spacious Imperial Ballroom where all PCA events are being played, one finds elaborately patterned, maritime-themed carpeting lurking underneath. Tangled below are various fishes, dolphins, seahorses, hermit crabs, shells, and seaweed, positioned like so many menacing mines.

My five-year-old nephew -- "Five-and-a-half!" he'd clarify -- likes to play a game common to many children, carefully hopping from chair to couch to footstool while referring to the carpet below as "hot lava." Such was the game the boy seemed to be playing, kind of a more complicated version of Step on a Crack.

But this was no simple, easy-to-read sidewalk. This was a serious step up from that (pun intended).


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A treacherous tangle

The $25K High Roller presents a similarly daunting challenge to all who take a seat. Even in this record-breaking 269-entry field (just announced a short while ago), there aren't too many spots at the table at which to aim.

"There are a lot of pros, so I guess the biggest thing is just to try to adapt to what your opponents are trying to do more quickly than they can adapt to you."

So explained Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody to us during the first break of Day 2. Just a moment before, the last hand of the previous level demonstrated how seemingly every seat is occupied by a player ready to challenge any move Cody might try.


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Cautious Cody

After opening from the hijack seat, Cody watched as Oleksii Khoroshenin (EPT Vienna winner, Season 10) called from a seat over, then Ivan Soshnikov (EPT Prague High Roller champ, Season 10) squeezed with a reraise from the button. Next came Jeff Rossiter (2012 Asia Championship of Poker Warm-Up winner, holder of EPT side event titles), reraising the minimum as a four-bet from the small blind.

The action got back to Cody. Like the little pedestrian in the hallway, he stepped aside.

"That's the main skill in these things... adapting to others," Cody continued. "Because obviously a big percentage of the field in these things are very accomplished and good hand readers. There are not really any tables you can just go in and crush, unless you get into a great situation where you have, say, twice the chips of everyone else on the bubble."

"Other than that, you can't run over these tables. Everybody's too good. Just finding little edges here and there... that's the way."

They're back from the break now. Hands have been dealt. Everyone is looking down. And treading lightly.

Follow all the action from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on PokerStars Blog. Everything from the Main Event is on the Main Event page and check out reports from here on the PokerStars blog as well. Follow the live stream, too, at EPT Live.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.