Welcome to 2011! Yes, I already posted a blog in 2011 and we're already six days into the year, but Thursday marks the start of the new poker year as one of the biggest poker festivals of the year begins in the Bahamas: the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. PCA is a 10-day festival filled with 48 events that range from a couple hundred dollar buy-ins to the absolutely ridiculous Super High Roller event in which players drop $100,000 in a single event.
It just so happens that the first day of PCA included the Super High Roller event and a field of 38 players turned out to make this the largest $100,000 event in poker history. Previously at the Aussie Millions we've seen fields in the 20-25 player range, but the new addition on the PCA schedule perhaps boasts the toughest hold 'em field we're going to see this year.
The tournament played eight-handed with five tough tables (and a few empty seats) to begin the action. Daniel Negreanu, Sorel Mizzi, Nick Schulman, Ashton Griffin, Vivek Rajkumar and Viktor Blom were all seated at the same table during early action. Blom showed up a couple hours late and took the seat of the first busted player of the event Koen Berendsen, who ran his K-K into the A-A of Schulman. Other early eliminations included Scott Seiver and Bill Perkins.
Speaking of Blom, rumored to be the online high stakes pro "Isildur1," Bluff reported that "Isildur1 is registered to play the [PCA Super High Roller]. Viktor Blom is playing the [Super High Roller], but [without] a patch." PokerStars did announce that they will be releasing his identity to the masses Saturday night and I think a bigger surprise to most would be would be if Isildur1 isn't Blom.
The other event on the PCA schedule on Thursday was the $2,300 buy-in "Fish and Chips" event. The two-day event sent five players out on boats early Thursday morning and Canadian Dana Weeks won the angling portion of the event. With her victory in that portion, she earned $2,000.
On Friday, the five players will hit the felt for the poker portion of the event worth two-thirds for the overall title. The poker champion will take home $4,500 and the overall champion will claim $5,000. Competing in this event is 2003 WSOP main event champion Chris Moneymaker, Kenneth Hicks, Calvin Anderson, Wade Townsend and Weeks.
Small blinds: Prahlad Friedman has signed an endorsement deal with UB. Friedman was probably hurt the most in the UB scandal years ago and it's interesting to see him sign on to promote the site. ... Silly Bandz creator Robert Croak has joined the DeepStacks Live team. ... For anyone playing at BigBetPoker.com, the site will be closing at the end of the month after stating that they believed it was in their best interest to exit the market. ... David "Viffer" Peat posted on 2+2 that he wanted to challenge Isildur1 live at PCA. ... There has been an Allen Cunningham sighting! Cunningham chopped Full Tilt's "$1K Monday" with "paigowpro" for $83,835. ... Bill "CrazyHorse76" Slaght won the Bluff 2010 Online Player of the Year. ... Mindset coach of the top poker players, Sam Chauhan, is taking on 12 new students to train before the 2011 WSOP. ... Live in Michigan and want to find a tournament to play at? UMichiganPoker breaks down the local tournaments available to players in the area. Charity poker rooms continue to be huge in Michigan.