The highly anticipated inaugural edition of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas is just a day away. The major event is set to mark the beginning of the 2017 live tournament poker season and it will certainly do this in style. Hosted by Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas Casino, the first PokerStars Championship for the year will run through January 14.
The PokerStars Championship Bahamas will act not only as the opening event for live poker action throughout the year but will also mark the beginning of a new era in the live tournament poker history. Speaking of history and while itching in anticipation what 2017 has in store for poker fans, Casino News Daily has looked back at the upcoming event’s predecessor – the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA).
Founded in 2004, the festival has become a player-favorite stop during its fourteen-year history. Just like its progeny, the PCA was considered the big season opener as it, too, was held early every year. The festival’s inaugural edition was co-organized with the World Poker Tour and was held on board the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas. In 2005, the event was moved to Atlantis Casino and has been welcomed by the luxury Paradise Island-located property every year ever since.
Two events on the PCA’s schedule struck as particularly popular over the years – the Main Event, of course, and the $100,000 Super High Roller. The good news is that PokerStars has not scrapped the latter tournament from the PokerStars Championship Bahamas schedule, so players and fans will still be able to enjoy quality high roller poker action.
The two tournaments collectively distributed millions of dollars to participants and crowned champions, making some of them millionaires overnight. Here are the biggest PCA Main Event and Super High Roller winners over the years and a quick look at their payouts for taking down two of the world’s most prestigious live poker tournaments.
Main Event Winners
Danish poker pro Gus Hansen won the inaugural PCA Main Event for a first-place prize of $455,780. The 2004 edition of the tournament attracted a total of 221 entries. Interest in the event grew with every year passing until an all-time record high attendance was reached in 2011. Galen Hall topped a field of 1,560 entries to collect a first-place prize of $2,300,000. The prize pool generated in the 2011 PCA Main Event amounted to $15,132,000.
Hall was not the player to collect the largest sum for winning the PCA Main Event. It was Canadian Poorya Nazari to claim that honor. The player was awarded $3,000,000 for emerging victorious in the tournament in 2009. The PCA Main Event drew 1,347 entries that year. They generated a prize pool of $12,674,000.
Ten of all twelve PCA Main Event editions awarded first-place prizes of over a million.
Super High Roller Winners
The $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller was first introduced to the PCA schedule in 2011. The event quickly gained popularity in the poker community and became an indispensable part of the festival’s schedule until the very end.
Ukrainian player Eugene Katchalov was the first PCA Super High Roller winner. The player won $1,500,000 for taking down the inaugural event in 2011. The first PCA $100,000 buy-in tournament featured a prize pool of $3,743,000 and was entered by 38 players.
American poker pro Scott Seiver was the biggest winner in the PCA Super High Roller history. He took down the event in 2013, taking home $2,003,480. The tournament attracted 43 entries + 12 re-buys that year.
The 2015 PCA Super High Roller was the largest one of all six editions of the event. It attracted 50 entries + 16 re-buys to generate the overall prize pool of $6,402,000. Steve O’Dwyer won the tournament for $1,872,580 in prize money.