This time last year PokerStars that the European Poker Tour was dead and all live tournaments run by the online poker giant would be branded as PokerStars Live. That meant the end of the flagship live event, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure – at least in name.
When January rolled around and players headed to the Bahamas for the flagship PokerStars live event, it was the PokerStars Championship Bahamas – not the much beloved PCA. On Thursday the company announced they’ve changed their mind and are bringing the PCA back for 2018 as a result of player feedback.
“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,” said Eric Hollreiser, Director of Corporate Communications at PokerStars. “We’re restoring the name and reinvigorating the event to ensure it remains a premiere poker festival.”
The name isn’t the only thing changing back though.
As it has since 2005, the 2018 PCA will run at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas from January 6 – 14 but PokerStars has also gone back in time and made the buy-in $10,300. For the last two years the buy-in was dropped to $5,300.
Despite raising the buy-in for the Main Event, PokerStars intends on increasing the number of online qualifiers sent to the event and the ways in which they can qualify.
“We will also increase the promotions around PCA in order to bring even more people and make qualifying for packages as exciting as we can. We are committed to sending at least 400 players to this must-play event,” said Hollreiser.
A full slate of qualifying options will be available on PokerStars.com following the conclusion of the 2017 World Championship of Online Poker in late September.
They’ve also announced a much lower rake structure that impacts nearly every event. The rake for every event with a buy-in of $10,000 or more is now capped at $300. This move should be music to the ears of high roller regulars. In 2017, the $100,000 Super High Roller had a rake of $2,000. Tournaments with levels that are less than 20 minutes long will also have their rake cut in half. PokerStars estimates this will mean a $300,000 reduction in rake.
The schedule will also be more streamlined. The 2017 festival included 75 events over nine days. While the 2018 PCA schedule hasn’t been finalized yet, the company has promised a significant drop in event with “more than 30” events promised.
Other announced changes for the 2018 PCA include:
- $50,000 player’s freeroll
- improvements to food and beverage options
- PCA player party
- the return of the $200 swag bag