After spending 10 days within the bubble of the PCA, away from the humdrum distraction that I once thought of as ‘real life’, it really feels like poker’s in your veins. Take this dream I had last night, for example: Chris Moneymaker in a cowboy hat, waving glowsticks; Ole Schemion playing football in the middle of a crowded ballroom; George Danzer and Liv Boeree dancing together, Gangnam style.
Wait a second…what’s this tattered wristband on my arm that smells of sweat and rum? Where did all these glowsticks in my bed come from? There’s only one explanation: that was no dream, it was the PCA Players’ Party.
The annual shindig has become a much anticipated part of the poker calendar, as hundreds upon hundreds of players celebrate a successful tournament series or – worst case scenario – a sunny but expensive holiday in Paradise. This year’s incarnation was due to take place outside on the Royal Deck, but for weather reasons was moved inside to the spacious Grand Ballroom.
Any concerns over the venue change were quickly allayed as the ballroom – decked out in spectacular fashion and lit by the kind of giant lasers that a Bond Villain might reject as being ‘a bit much’ – welcomed hordes of smiling party goers of all ages.
Revellers were entertained by stilt-walkers, fire-breathers and even a full-on samba band, marching through the crowd and getting everyone into the spirit of the occasion. Food stands situated around the room offered cuisine from around the world, while the many (open) bars kept the Bahama Mamas flowing.
Breakdancers and limbo dancers set the pace, and the crowds dutifully followed suit, waving their glowsticks and flashing LED bracelets in time with the DJ’s selections. Everyone from micro-stakes grinders to recreational players, high rollers, friends and children hit the dancefloor amid swirls of dry ice, laser beams and inflatable footballs. On me head, Schemion!
After the kiddies were all safely tucked up in bed, and literally everyone had had their opportunity to take a picture with Tito Ortiz (what a lovely fellow), the party moved on to Atlantis’ hottest nightspot, Aura. Shapes were thrown, moves were busted. Great memories were made and then, speaking from personal experience, lost.
As the doors closed at Aura and the crowds dispersed to get their beauty sleep (personally, I try to never play a $10K turbo without at least 2 hours’ rest), there was only one thing left to say:
“Same time next year?”
If you couldn’t make it to the PCA Players’ Party (or if you were there but can’t remember), watch the video below for some highlights:
Follow all the action from both remaining flagship tournaments on PokerStars Blog. The Main Event is on the Main Event page, and High Roller page. And there are a host of side event reports and results on the Side Events page
Adam Hampton is a copywriter for PokerStars