PCA sets sail today

Here Fishy

While the 2007 tournament poker season is still fresh in many people's minds, time waits for no poker players. After an all-too-brief two-week break since the completion of major poker action, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is set to take center stage today.

For those who have been under siege from the winds and snow of winter, the respite at the Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is a welcome sight. Those who come to take a major poker title, though, may not get a chance to see the beauty of the Caribbean Sea.

The history of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has been one of top pros battling against the online wizards, with the score standing at 2-2 so far. In the first PCA, Gus Hansen captured one of his three World Poker Tour titles with his 2004 victory.

England's "Gentleman" John Gale jump-started his poker career with a victory in 2005, and the last two winners, Steven Paul-Ambrose (2006) and defending champion Ryan Daut, both entered the event through PokerStars.

1414134123For the first time in its five-year history, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will not be a part of the WPT. Because of the sponsorship of PokerStars, the tournament has been shifted to the European Poker Tour as part of its fourth season. However, this will not dampen the field or the desire of the hundreds of players who want to take the first major championship of the 2008 season.

The $8,000 buy-in event ($200 of which is taken in juice) is capped at 1,200 players above the age of 18 and there are currently nearly 850 players who have qualified online at PokerStars. As is common at tournaments sponsored by an online poker room, the field should be a mix of first-time live players, veteran online pros and, of course, many of the sponsored pros in the PokerStars stable.

The list of online players who have qualified for the tournament reads like a Who's Who of the online poker world. Many of them battled last year for some of the Online Player of the Year awards that were offered and will be a significant challenge to both the newcomers and the pros who are a part of the field.


Noah Boeken
Boeken to battle at the felt in the Caribbean.
Some of the more notable names who have qualified for the 2008 PCA are Matt "ch0ppy" Kay, Isaac "westmenloAA" Baron, Scott "SCTrojans" Freeman, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Noah "Exclusive" Boeken and 2007 WSOP bracelet winner Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis.

The live pros will be led by two former World Champions in Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem. Other pros who are qualified to be a part of the festivities at the PCA include the aforementioned defending champion Daut, Vanessa "LadyMaverick" Rousso, Hevad "Rain" Khan, Soren Kongsgaard, Katja Thater and Dario Minieri.

A host of professionals are expected to make the trip to the Bahamas for the tournament, so there will likely be many more players than these.

One player who will not be a part of the PCA is the infamous JJProdigy.

Josh "JJProdigy" Field recently turned 18 and was looking to enter the PCA this year. Because of his previous infractions against the T&C of PokerStars online, his alleged continuance of improper play (including underage play) and the concerns of other players, PokerStars announced that it will carry over its online ban of Field to the Bahamas tournament.

It will be interesting to see if PokerStars intends to apply this policy to other events on the EPT that, because they take place at foreign casino sites, allow players as young as 18 to participate in them.

Even with this, though, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will be full of action as the players look to score the first major championship of the 2008 season. PokerListings will be there for every bluff, tantrum, bad beat and masterful play, so tune it to the Live Tournament Section today as the action begins.

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