PokerStars Announces Return of PCA for 2018 with $10K Main Event
One of the most history-rich events in poker is coming back from the grave.
After a year on ice, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will make its return in January 2018, PokerStars announced in a Thursday press release.
In 2017, PokerStars overhauled their live tournament model, unifying and consolidating their worldwide circuits under PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival banners.
That meant the retirement of the PCA name, which had a rich history dating to 2004, featuring winners such as PokerStars Team Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Gus Hansen and Mike Watson and first-place prizes of up to $3 million. PCA, long a marquee name in the poker world and an attractive destination for satellite qualifiers, became PokerStars Championship Bahamas under the rebrand.
Now, the PCA will make its return, and it does so in response to player feedback, according to PokerStars Director of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser.
"This feedback included suggestions that we restore the PCA name and improve the quality of that event to reflect the great heritage and unique experience that made PCA one of the most-anticipated poker events of the year," he wrote. "We're restoring the name and reinvigorating the event to ensure it remains a premier poker festival."
"We're restoring the name and reinvigorating the event to ensure it remains a premiere poker festival."
One step in the efforts to accomplish that: raising the buy-in back to its old, higher price point of $10,300 on the Main Event. The 2016 PCA and this year's PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event carried buy-ins of $5,300 on the Main Event. Given the steep cost of travel and accommodation on Paradise Island, many felt the $10K buy-in was more fitting.
Reconnecting to PCA's roots as a haven for qualifiers is also a goal, with Hollreiser quoting a number of 400.
In further efforts to cater to players, PokerStars will be reducing rake on a number of tournaments. Anything with a buy-in of $10,000 or more will be capped at $300, and anything with levels of 19 minutes or less will have rake chopped in half. PokerStars estimates an extra $300K will be pumped back into prize pools with these cuts.
Players who participate in any event on the schedule will also earn seats into a $50,000 freeroll.
The schedule will also be revamped after PokerStars' Neil Johnson admitted last year that organizers were a little overzealous with 98 tournaments packed into a week's time. This year, there will be closer to 30 events with more focus on longer-structured tournaments.
It's unclear what the resurrection of PCA means for the PokerStars Championship series as a whole.
The PCA's return is scheduled for Jan. 6-14, and qualifiers will begin in earnest on PokerStars in September, starting as low as $1.10.