If you’ve been waiting for an announcement on dates for the 2020 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure so you can book your trip to the Bahamas, just go ahead and cancel your plans altogether or find a different destination. The online poker site has decided to discontinue its popular live poker series.
According to Stars blogger Brad Willis, the PCA finale – 2019 – “may have been the finest of them all.” And he may be correct considering the success of the inaugural PokerStars Players Championship, a $25,000 buy-in tournament had 1,039 entries, many of whom were amateurs who earned a free entry.
The PSPC is returning in 2020, but it will take place at the EPT Barcelona series in August. You can say la vie, however, to the PCA, 15 years after its inception.
All Good Things Must Come to an End
Outside of the World Series of Poker, few annual poker events have staying power. But the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure did, as it lasted for 15 years, 14 of which were at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.
It all started in 2004 on a cruise ship with 221 players in the Main Event. The great Gus Hansen, one of poker’s most popular gamblers of all-time, won it for $455,780. David “Chino” Rheem, a three-time WPT champion, took it down last year for $1,567,100, beating out 864 others.
But despite the series’ popularity, PokerStars has decided to pull the plug on the annual event to put its focus more on growing the PSPC. The online poker site recently announced the return of the PSPC in 2020, but in a new location – Barcelona. That made many question if the PCA would even return in January.
Many poker fans were ecstatic with the venue change, however. Some PCA regulars dislike the Atlantis Resort for reasons such as expensive rooms and pricey meals. So, few on social media appeared to be disappointed with the PSPC’s move to Spain.
PokerStars Caribbean Adventure’s Glorious History
Despite what you may have thought about its venue, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure was a popular series, and for a very long time. The PCA is so old that when the series began the poker boom era was still in its infancy. Sammy Farha was considered a top pro, Greg Raymer was the reigning world champion, GTO wasn’t even a thing in poker, and everyone loved Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer.
Times have changed. Farha’s non-existent in the high stakes community, Hossein Ensan is the current world champion, GTO is the name of the game in poker, and many poker fans want Ferguson and Lederer banned from the WSOP. And now the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is gone.
The PCA had a great run. Some of the best and most popular players in the game won PCA Main Event titles over the years. That list includes Gus Hansen (2004), Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (2008), Galen Hall (2011), Christian Harder (2017), and David “Chino” Rheem (2019).
Maria Lampropulos is the only woman to have won the prestigious event. She took down the PCA in 2018 for $1,08,100.
Many future Poker Hall of Famers won high rollers at the PCA, including Scott Seiver (2013), Steve O’Dwyer (2015), Bryn Kenney (2016), and Jason Koon (2017). “ElkY” is the only player to win a high roller and the Main Event. He shipped a 2009 high roller for $433,500.
The Bahamas is a sunny and warm destination year-round. It’s sure a nice change of pace in January each year for those who live in blistering cold winter climates. But there won’t be any reason for poker players to make the trip anymore. The PCA had a great run, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Good game, PokerStars.