PCA 2016: The Atari challenge
There's a woman with blue hair giving away Ataris.
She won't give them away to just anyone though, you have to prove your worthiness first.
To do that, players must trek through the Hallway of Lengthy Lunges until they reach the Cavern of Chirping Chips (the tournament area). Once they've made that journey, they have locate the Quadrant of Entertainment (the PCA Players Lounge) and take a seat at one of the Thrones of 8-bit Flashbacks (Atari consoles).
Players can choose between Centipede, Asteroids and Missile Command. If they get the high score for the day they'll be rewarded with their own Atari Flashback console.
Players can win up to three consoles --one for each machine-- and one player did that in a single day. James Stuart got all three high scores in a single day and then placed second in the $100K Blackjack tournament.
Aside from luck in the blackjack tournament and skill with an Atari joystick, the only thing the PCA Players Lounge asked of him --and anyone else who enters lounge-- was that he had fun.
"Poker is our core product," said Natalie Besate, the woman with blue hair who's running the lounge. "But there's lots of downtime in poker and we thought it'd be a good idea to offer something different that players could enjoy."
There's more than the Atari challenge. They hosted a tailgate party two days ago and had a free-to-enter HU4Rollz promotion where players could win up to $1,000 by battling Team Pros.
Players also had the chance to battle a Team Pro on the court. Jason Mercier hosted and played in a 4 v 4 basketball tournament where the winning team won $1,000 buy-ins for side events.
"It's been absolutely fantastic," Besate said. "Players have loved it. We have a larger area and we're right in the tournament so there's easier access.
"We've set up a table with outlets if people want to grind. We also have a bar. It's a great, easy place to meet."
The lounge opens every day at 11am with free breakfast and a "Breakfast with the Pros" Q&A session and stays open until midnight.
They're also screening a movie and throwing a party.
The Atlantis Theatre will screen "Kid Poker" --a documentary on Daniel Negreanu's life-- at 10pm tonight. It's first-come, first-served so be sure to show up early to nab a good seat.
The party will be on Wednesday at 8pm and players can get their bracelet at the information desk. Then they'll be given free drinks at the party and a free entry to Atlantis' nightclub, Aura.
We'll see you there after we brush up on our Missile Command skills.
Alexander Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.