The 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Approaches

The live tournament circuit begins again this week with the official start of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Saturday, January 8. Officially, the tournament will contain ten whole days of events, running from January 8 through January 14. Unofficially, the festivities will actually begin tomorrow with an unprecedented super high roller event. PokerStars has been promoting this year’s Caribbean Adventure aggressively, predicting that it will be one of the largest live tournaments of the year, second only to the World Series of Poker.

Last year’s PCA definitely lived up to the hype, with 1,529 players from 57 countries entering the $10,000 Main Event alone. The prize pool for that event was nearly $15 million, offering the winner a payout that was indeed second only to the WSOP Main Event final table payouts. When you consider the massive prize pool and then add in the tropical location and the fact that this is the first major live tournament of the year, it’s easy to see why the PCA regularly posts such impressive numbers.

What’s on the schedule for the 2011 PCA? The competition is actually kicking off early with a high roller event that’s not included on the regular NAPT agenda. That event will begin tomorrow. With its $100,000 buy-in and only two dozen players currently registered, it’s sure to feel more like a high stakes cash game than the usual multi-table tournament fare.

Curious about who would lay down that kind of money? Not surprisingly, a number of Team PokerStars pros have already committed to competing in the event, among them Humberto Brenes, Jason Mercier and Daniel Negreanu. Joining them will be best poker buds Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak. Other pros to watch include Bill Chen, Hoyt Corkins, Bertrand Grospellier, Bryn Kenney, Justin Smith and 2010’s Aussie Millions winner Dan Shak, among others. The super high roller will also play host to a very interesting match-up with both Bluff Magazine‘s 2010 Player of the Year Sorel Mizzi and CardPlayer‘s 2010 Player of the Year Tom Marchese already slated to compete.

More traditional tournament followers won’t be disappointed in this year’s Main Event action either; the NAPT is reporting early registrations that have already topped 1,000 entries. It has not yet been confirmed, though, if 2010’s Main Event champion, Harrison Gimbel – who is still not old enough to play at any other NAPT tournaments – will return to defend his title.

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