Sometimes events as big as the PCA can only be understood numerically. So, try these numbers on for size.
1,500: The milestone crossed when the the 1,501st player signed up for the 2010 PCA. There are a few more than that, but suffice to say, we're currently witnessing the biggest-ever PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
15,000,000: The approximate number of American dollars currently in the main event prize pool.
329,500: The value of Wayne Bentley's chip stack when he finished Day 1A.
It was with these numbers in mind that we entered Day 1B of the PCA. We held on to them tight and with the assurance they would help us understand this giant field at the end of Wednesday's work.
We worked with this near-certainty: no one would top the performance of Day 1A chip leader Wayne Bentley. His finish with 329,500 seemed a lock for the lead going into Day 2. Still, as is our duty, we worked long into the eighth and final level tonight on a mission to find the Day 1B chip leader.
Unlike Day 1A where Bentley ran away with the chip lead and held it for the whole day, finding a clear leader on Day 1B was no easy task. With 60 minutes to go, a ton of players hovered in the 120,000 range, but none who threatened Bentley's lead.
Finally, with the final minutes of level 8 approaching, we found our man. Brazil's Anibal Tacla, a PokerStars player, came here to play in his first PCA. He ended Day 1B with the chip lead at 166,000. Tacla comes from Curitiba (the same city as Team Pro Alex Gomes) where the Day 1B chip leader owns a shopping mall. In his estimation, he had a pretty good day here on Paradise Island.
Not too far behind Tacla on Day 1B are a few names you might recognize:
Matt Graham: 146,700
Kevin McPhee: 141,600
Alejandro del Puerto : 135,000
Shane Schleger: 129,000
Annette Obrestad: 124,900
The PCA is one of few places you can find a Playboy playmate, an American hip-hop star, a German tennis legend, and a Major League Baseball great all playing poker alongside hundreds of other people. That is exactly what we had here on Day 1B as we saw Jayde Nicole, Nelly, Boris Becker, and Orel Hershiser (not to mention hockey great Mats Sundin) slinging cards with some of the best poker players in the world. Those folks and several hundred more helped push the 2010 PCA across the 1,500-player mark, yet another record in the history of this event.
This day began with Team PokerStars Pro and 2009 WSOP champion Joe Cada giving the "shuffle up and deal" command. The man who recently became the youngest ever WSOP main event winner had high hopes for his chances in the Bahamas, but ended up exiting early in Day 1B. No worries though. When 2008 WSOP champ Peter Eastgate came to the PCA last year, he busted out in 84th and then went on to win a big side event for some ungodly amount of money. So, we'll keep an eye on Cada for the next week or so.
To Cada we tip a bottle of Kalik in memory. Among the others who left us too early: Boris Becker, Million Dollar Challenge winner Mike Kosowski, Argentina Team Pros Leo Fernandez and Veronica Dabul, French Team Pro Arnaud Mattern, Brazil's Alex Gomes, and Dutchmen Lex Veldhuis and Pieter de Korver.
No Team Pro in the field today put on a more active performance than Vanessa Rousso. The lady (who holds dual Team Pro membership in USA and France) came out of the gates with a bullet up to 125,000. She got that stack as high as 140,000 before ending the day on 82,200. She is among the likes of Peter Eastgate (82,900), Vicky Coren (69,700), Luis Medina (21,000), Fatima de Melo (47,800), J.C. Alvarado (109,600), William Thorson (45,100), Thierry van den Berg (64,600), Pier Paolo Fabretti (117,00), Johnny Lodden (12,400), ElkY (19,900), and Victor Ramdin (61,300), and Juan Manuel Pastor (30,000) who all have made it through to Day 2.
All of them will face Day 1A leader Bentley and tonight's top player Tacla when we return on Thursday.
While the main event was the biggest news of the day, we can't miss this last opportunity to mention this morning's big announcement. Before the start of play, PokerStars announced the launch of a brand new poker series. The North American Poker Tour kicks off here at the PCA, then will continue to the Venetian in February and the Mohegan Sun in April. Several other events are in the works as well. You can find full details here: PokerStars, Joanna Krupa to host NAPT.
For now, though, our focus remains on this event in paradise. If you weren't with the thousands of others clicking refresh as we live blogged Day 1B, feel free to take a look back at the coverage by clicking any of the links below.
We've spent the last few days listening to all of this action being recited in a variety of different languages by our fellow PokerStars Blog reporters. We briefly considered trying to transcribe all we have heard, but discovered our keyboards don't have the correct characters. Plus, a lot of it sounds rather naughty. However, we don't want to play 'net nanny to you. So, please feel free to read our coverage in Swedish, German and Italian, Spanish and our Brazilian blogger's Portguese.
As always, we must tip our hats to Joe Giron and Neil Stoddart for their top work behind the cameras.
We're off to whatever movie theater (Cincinnati Kid on the big screen), restaurant (fried conch), or bar (Kalik) will have us. We'll be back here at noon tomorrow for the start of Day 2.
Join us then for Accurate, Comprehensive, and Entertaining live updates.
In the meantime, here's a video with one of those folks who make the PCA such an occasion... a PokerStars qualifier. Scott Harris is the name, and he finished today with 30,300. The good news is that's 300 more than he started with. The bad news is he's a little way off the average stack. But at least he made it through the day...
Watch PCA 2010: Scott Harris on PokerStars.tv