Well it’s here. You can just about feel it. The bustle. It’s the increased energy in the tournament room making this place feel like what it is – the venue for something big.
Up until now the ballroom has been for the exclusive use of the Super High Rollers, who only need a small corner, most of which is lit up by the television stage. But now, as they look back over their shoulders, the room is starting to fill up.
As well as sit & gos and cash games there’s a Super Satellite for the main event taking place, the first opportunity for many new arrivals to play a hand in anger. For those with a taste for more adrenaline packed adventures there are two turbo events tonight, the first of which, with a $2,000 buy-in, is about to start before the second begins an hour later.
Admittedly this was before the bustle
Out in the hallways there is the general hum of people who have just endured long flights and are now looking for short drinks. Among them are those who can’t resist checking out what’s going on, the qualifiers, the regular players, the life and soul of this party, keen to take a quick look at the place they hope to make home for the next eight days.
One of them is an old hand at this sort of thing. Chris Moneymaker strolled through the tournament room a short while ago to watch the Super High Rollers, as did another recognisable face Dennis Phillips, trying to pass for a civilian by not wearing his Cardinals cap.
Even with beaches, bars, sunshine and waterslides, to some the PCA will only ever be about the poker. And thank goodness. These new arrivals have brought the atmosphere with them. The bustle is back.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter