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One of the premier poker tournaments in the Caribbean kicks off in about a month. The Punta Cana Poker Classic gets underway on October 25 at the Melia Caribe in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. There is plenty of poker action for those in attendance. The series features 15 events over the six-day series, highlighted by the $1,650 No Limit Hold’em Main Event. The four-day Main Event carries a $500,000 guaranteed prizepool and kicks off on Wednesday, October 26 with the first of two starting days. Since its inception in 2010, the event has only grown and this year is expected to be the biggest yet. “Back in 2010, the guaranteed prizepool was only $100,000 for the Main Event we barely had enough players to cover,” said Phil Nagy, Punta Cana Poker Classic President. “Last year, our prizepool exceeded $860,000 and we expect it to be even bigger this year.” Last year, Luis Yepez bested a field of 567 in the Main Event to take home $185,615. For players who are unfortunate enough to bust out early from their tournaments and want to take a break from the table, Punta Cana is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some fun in the sun. The Melia Caribe is an all-inclusive resort with private beaches, a golf course, and nightclubs that players will be able to take advantage of for no extra charge. “We’ve reserved an entire private win of the Melia Caribe Tropical just for our players where they can enjoy private beaches, restaurants, and nightclubs,” said Nagy. “Our players literally can leave their wallet at home after check-in and enjoy around-the-clock top-notch food and beverages.” Outside of the Main Event, and the fun atmosphere in the Dominican Republic, there are plenty of side events and satellites running. There is a Caribbean Poker Tour $900 No Limit Hold’em Main Event and a $3,200 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event that are two of the bigger attractions outside of the PCPC Main Event. Players can satellite into the High Roller for as little as $350 and the CPT Main Event for as little as $110. There are also plenty of satellites for the PCPC Main Event for $220. There is a $220 No Limit Hold’em Hyper Turbo satellite to the Main Event after the welcome party for players on Tuesday, October 25 to kick off the series. Players have been satelliting into this Main Event for several months online on the Winning Poker Network and with plenty of live satellites on-site, it’s only going to make the prizepool bigger than it ever has. “We’ve qualified a minimum of seven players with a $4,900 package ever week for months now through our $55 buy-in Beast and Sit & Crush satellites,” said Nagy. “We’ll continue to run these up until the week before the Main Event. So far, we’ve got 80 players qualified and we are expecting to hit over 120 in packages alone. With the bigger Main Event field, our side events should grow as well.” This is the first year that the PCPC will be held at the Melia Caribe. For the first several years, the event was held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, but management decided that this venue would be an improvement. Along with the new venue, the PCPC is also offering a new way for players to blow off some steam after a bustout. It’s variation on everybody’s favorite carnival game, the dunk tank. “Our dealers are world class and flown in from around the world,” said Nagy. “But if things don’t go your way at the tables, we’re going to set up a dunk tank where you can dunk the dealer who dealt you a bad beat. This event is packed full of extras and fun additions.” With increasing popularity and growth in all field sizes, Nagy believes that this is going to be one of the more prominent tournaments series around. “PCPC players are guaranteed to have a good time no matter what. The vibe is just different,” said Nagy. “Our growth in regards to attendance speaks for itself. We draw new players from around the world each year, and the ones who’ve come back before make it a point to come back year after year. It’s that good.” For more information visit PuntaCanaPokerClassic.com.
[caption width="640"] The Punta Cana Poker Classic offers players a little bit of poker paradise[/caption] “Sun, fun, amazing poker and good people...” As the Punta Cana Poker Classic (PCPC) enters its eighth year, Phil Nagy, President of the PCPC, says players can expect more of the same good times they've experienced in the past when the five-day festival kicks off on October 24. “...and a bar at the cash games,” Nagy adds. “It makes for better games.” The desirable tropical destination of the Dominican Republic's Punta Cana combined with a full slate of cash and tournament poker action has made the PCPC one of the most anticipated poker vacations of the year. Besides the guaranteed great weather and incredible amenities, the PCPC boasts prize pools worth playing for including their $500,000 Guaranteed Main Event, the $1K Second Chance, the $3200 High Roller and new for 2017, something extra for players that like to test their heads-up skills. “Every year we like to switch things up,” Nagy said “This year we have a multi-day high-stakes heads-up tournament that runs basically all day. As soon as two people sign up, they'll play to move on to Day 2.” The new event, along with the constant refinement in the PCPC marquee events, is a direct result of Nagy being open to the wants of his player base, one that consists of a wide international gathering that the festival has historically enjoyed. “We definitely have built a following over the years for an overall great tournament that lets you take a break from the regular casino grind,” Nagy explained about the festival's evolution. “But listening to what the customer wants and letting it evolve into what people wanted it to be. It's amazing what happens when you just listen to your customers and do what they ask you to do to.” This includes the experience away from the table. The PCPC is headed into its second year at the Melia Caribe Tropical Resort, providing an all-inclusive experience (except for the poker buy-ins). With a year under the PCPC's belt, players can expect an even smoother experience between the poker and the outdoor pools with Nagy and his team constantly working to enhance the player experience. “We made some changes to the restaurants, more nightlife, and some super-secret fun stuff,” Nagy said. “Most importantly year after year our customer knows what quality experience they can expect. I joke about being the 'King of the PCPC' but we really work to make the players the Kings and Queens.” When it comes to those 'super-secret' activities planned, Nagy wouldn't budge “You'll have to ask your VIP Host, Irene.” Looking to the future of the festival Nagy seems hopefully for another historically successful event. In addition to all of the action, “I'm hoping to see some new faces...and beer pong,” Nagy added, “Two years ago it was amazing and I'm looking to bring that one back.” The 2017 Punta Cana Poker Classic takes place from October 24-29 with the $500,000 Guaranteed Main Event kicking off on October 25.