PCA 2015: Play with Jake and Jim - or train with Tito
The compact field of Day 1A at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure this year required only about one quarter of the 50,000 square feet available in the Imperial Ballroom. It was just as well. The cash games are booming and the LAPT Bahamas main event filled almost all of another side of the room. The Main Event will take the headlines by the end of the week, but was content to play second fiddle as it began.
Things have changed somewhat today, where the field is up to around 560 players and the Main Event spreads across three of the room's four quadrants. The LAPT final table is taking place in one corner, on the EPT Live webcast stage, but Main Event tables now stretch over the area it once occupied -- and there are some pretty tasty line-ups among them.
Jake Cody is over there, sporting a fairly tremendous retro England soccer shirt. Cody is celebrating the start of his third year as a Team PokerStars Pro today, having been unveiled as the latest signing to the team before play began in the 2013 renewal of this event. He went deep in his debut tournament, finishing 47th, and it has been business as usual since then. Cody won a UKIPT Tournament Series event and finished fifth at the EPT Grand Final a few months after joining the team, the same place he occupied at the EPT London final in October last year.
During that event, in his home country, Cody's popular "Play With Jake" game earned one of his Twitter followers a £1,300 payday - even though he had to amend the rules slightly to make it more pizza based. Cody has reverted to the usual rules here in the Bahamas, however, and is offering up 2 per cent of any winnings in this tournament to any Twitter follower who can guess his hand in a particular pot he played earlier in the day.
That's the extent of the rules, really. If you can name determine Cody's precise holding in the following pot, including suits, he'll give you 1 per cent of his winnings in the event and donate another 1 per cent to a charity of your choice. Here are the details of the action:
PCA Main Event, Day 1
Effective stack 30k
Cutoff opens to 500
I defend big blind
K♠6♠4♠ (pot 1,300)
Check, cutoff bets 600
I check raise to 2,200
River 3♣ (pot 5,700)
I bet 5,600
Follow Cody on Twitter -- he's @JakeCody -- to be in with a chance.
One table along, Jen Shahade sits next to a svelte-looking character whose face looks a lot like that of Jim Collopy. It requires a double take to determine that it is indeed the same player who used to be a regular on the EPT a few years ago while on a series of placements in Europe from NYU.
Back then, Collopy was one of the most gregarious characters in the game, barrelling round Prague, Barcelona, Warsaw, Vienna, Snowfest, et al, and getting into the kind of scrapes it's probably best he tells you about face to face when you next share a beer. These days, Collopy retains an extraordinary effervescence, but complements it with the kind of figure usually reserved for the tedious health freaks.
Since his last trip to Atlantis, four years ago, Collopy has decamped to Sydney, Australia, where the good life appears to have hit him very hard. Collopy started eating well, doing yoga and enjoying life on the beach, and has also enrolled in the prestigious Cordon Bleu culinary school, which at least keeps his knives sharp.
He is also, of course, still playing poker and has had the most prosperous few years of his career. He mainly focuses on cash online these days, but won his first World Series bracelet in a PLO tournament at WSOP Asia Pacific, in addition to making final tables at the Aussie Millions and on the APPT in Cebu.
Collopy's friend Dan "djk123" Kelly was also down in Australia for a short while, before more recently returning to North America. But we won't be fearing for Collopy just yet. He has the ability to make friends with about anyone he ever meets, and is likely a huge hit Down Under.
Tito Ortiz, the UFC Hall of Famer, is also in that corner of the tournament room this afternoon. Ortiz, who won his ticket here in a charity event in Los Angeles, was on exceptional form in a Q&A session a few days ago at the PCA and is now putting his preparation into practice in the Main Event.
Tomorrow morning, Ortiz will also lead a group of
idiots brave souls in a beach workout session. If anyone wants to join him, and learn how to train like one of the best MMA fighters in the business, meet in the library in the Ocean wing of the Coral Tower tomorrow at 10am.
PokerStars Blog, whose reporters have mustered approximately 11 push ups in their combined lifetimes, have yet to decide which of them will go gonzo for an article about the Ortiz training session. It may be the last piece any of us ever report.
Follow all the action from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on PokerStars Blog. Everything from the Main Event is on the Main Event page, while the LAPT event has reached its final table. Full coverage is on the LAPT Bahamas page and on EPT Live.