The road to the PCA 2018 Main Event championship has officially started today at noon local time at the Imperial Ballroom in the spectacular Atlantis Resort.
This year, the ever-popular live tournament returned to the juicy $10,300 buy-in. One of the marquee events on the annual live poker calendar, PCA Main Event has been producing countless, oftentimes historic moments in poker history since its establishment in 2004. You can retrace the greatest ones on the PokerStars blog.
It's where the top players from North America and beyond meet with various celebrities and poker aficionados from all corners of the world, including first-time qualifiers who all get to experience the unique atmosphere in this stellar event.
Day 1a follows the tradition. More than 140 players have entered the competition by the end of the second level and the field boasts some of the game's frontrunners.
The defending champion Christian Harder arrived for the first level and so did his former backer and last year's heads-up opponent, legendary Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy.
Harder was happy to come back the place that has played a crucial role in his career: 'It's great, I love The Bahamas! I got my start here really. This is where I decided to play poker full time in 2008 and winning last year was obviously amazing and awesome. I'm glad to be back," he said.
It may be too early to think about a back-to-back victory, but it all starts with high hopes: "Hopefully I can win it again. This is my 11th straight PCA and after experiencing it last year, it would be pretty sweet to win again," Harder called for another shot at the title.
Another former champ Mike Watson is also playing as well as Ryan Riess, Kevin MacPhee, Oleksii Khoroshenin and many other accomplished players.
Team PokerStars is expected to send a battalion of its representatives to the PCA Main Event and some of them are already contesting the title. Young Twich stars Jaime Staples and Kevin Martin are accompanied by old-schooler Barry Greenstein. PokerStars Mind Sports Ambassador Jennifer Shahade and Team PokerStars Pro Fatima Moreira de Melo are trying to make history by becoming the first female player to take down the PCA Main Event. De Melo is fresh off her 18th place at PokerStars Championship Prague.
Players start with 30,000 in chips and their first step is to try navigate through eight 60-minute levels to secure themselves a chair in Day 2. Late registration is open for the whole day so we can expect the total field rise.
Live coverage can be found on the PokerStars blog and PokerNews.
PokerStars TV will be streaming the Main Event from Day 2 (January 10-14). In the meantime, you can watch how the Super High Roller finale (January 8) and the $50k High Roller finale (January 9) unfold.
The stream is available in a wide number of languages, on desktop and mobile on PokerStars.tv, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch channels. Click here for a full schedule.
POKERSTARS CARIBBEAN ADVENTURE MAIN EVENT HISTORY
2004: 221 players, $1,657,500 prize pool, Gus Hansen from Denmark for $455,780
2005: 461 players, $3,487,200 prize pool, John Gale from the UK for $890,600
2006: 724 players, $5,647,200 prize pool, Steve Ambrose from Canada for $1,388,600
2007: 937 players, $7,063 842 prize pool, Ryan Daut from the USA for $1,535,255
2008: 1,136 players, $8,562 976 prize pool, Bertrand Grospellier from France for $2,000,000
2009: 1,347 players, $12,674,000 prize pool, Poorya Nazari from Canada for $3,000,000
2010: 1,529 players, $14,831,300 prize pool, Harrison Gimbel from the USA for $2,200,000
2011: 1,560 players, $15,132,000 prize pool, Galen Hall from the USA for $2,300,000
2012: 1,072 players, $10,398,400 prize pool, John Dibella from the USA for $1,775,000
2013: 987 players, $9,573,900 prize pool, Dimitar Danchev from Bulgaria for $1,859,000
2014: 1,031 players, $10,070,000 prize pool, Dominik Panka from Poland for $1,423,096
2015: 816 players, $7,915,200 prize pool, Kevin Schulz from the USA for $1,491,580
2016: 928 players, $4,500,800 prize pool, Mike Watson from Canada for $728,325
2017 *: 738 players, $3,376,712 prize pool, Christian Harder from the USA for $429,664
* (held as PokerStars Championship Bahamas in 2017)