I remember a time not too long ago when qualifying for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure didn't begin until autumn was in the northern hemisphere's air. It was a time when people thought of mulled cider, Halloween, and how nice it would be to have a beach vacation. Contrast that recent memory with this: six people have already qualified for the 2012 PCA, and they did it for a combined 240 Frequent Player Points.
Chew on that for a second. The value of a PCA package is worth a week at the Caribbean's biggest resort, travel money, expense cash, and a $10,000 buy-in. That's a win of a lifetime for people who did it for $215. Now, six people have qualified ten months early for mere pennies.
This weekend, gajoshkile, hale_bop456, KoSmA AK, joncar301, Jonbaa G., and jegoma40 became the first people to secure seats to next year's PCA. Pennies to riches, just like that.
Pennies you say? Well, yes. We asked our people who keep the PokerStars abacus to do a little math for us, and the results are pretty startling.
The six players spent a grand total of 240 FPPs in their efforts. The value of what they won was 5,917,500 FPPS worth of PCA packages. If you convert that to cash, the combined players spent approximately less than $4 to win nearly $100,000 in PCA value.
Now, a reasonable person would be saying at this point, "Dear PokerStars Blog, how can I get such value for my FPPs and join you at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure?"
I'm glad you asked.
If you go to your PokerStars software and click on EVENTS > PCA > and FPP SATELLITES, you will see a series of qualifiers with the name Mega-Path. There are eight preliminary rounds of qualifiers starting with Round 1 satellites for just a few Frequent Player Points. Work your way through those and you could be among the next people to go to the PCA for virtually nothing.
It should be noted that the trip to the PCA main event isn't the end of the value of winning a Mega-Path qualifier. Darren Keyes won $150,000 in 2010 after getting in through a Mega-Path. In 2011, Sami Aro from Finland invested 100 Frequent Player Points and cashed in the main event for for $23,500. Tomer Aminpour qualified for 40 FPPs and won $17,500. Dutch player Michel Leijenaar won his seat for 200 FPPs and pocketed $15,000 in extra main event cash.
This little development poses a question I simply can't answer yet. If people are already qualifying for the 2012 PCA, just how big will it be? Best you start trying to get in now. You never know when the PCA will get so big it sells out...
Congrats to the 2012 PCA's first six qualifiers. We'll see you in about ten months.