PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Comes To An End After 16 Years
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) will not take place in 2020 as PokerStars has decided to put an end to the popular tournament that has been around for the last 16 years.
The decision has been confirmed Marketing Director Eric Hollreiser who said the PCA has been losing momentum in recent years and has faced increasing criticism from players because of its location.
The PCA debuted in 2004 and took place on a cruise ship sailing the Caribbean Sea, in partnership with the World Poker Tour. The first-ever Main Event carried a buy-in of $7,500 and attracted 221 players. It was taken down by poker great Gus Hansen who won $455,780. In January David Rheem was crowned main event champion which will now be last ever winner.
In 2005, the festival moved to the Atlantis Resort on the majestic Paradise Island in the Bahamas which remained home to the tournament till 2019. The PCA proved to be a hit with the players and eventually became part of PokerStars’ European Poker Tour. The Main Event buy-in was then increased to $10,300 and it was one of the top attractions for PokerStars for a number of years.
The Main Event buy-in was later reduced to $5,300 in 2016 and 2017 in an effort to attract more players. The same year PokerStars decided to change the name of the tournament and brand it as “PokerStars Championship Bahamas“. These two changes did not have much of an impact in bringing in more players and PokerStars decided to go back to the old name and $10,300 buy-in.
While the Main Event was the main attraction at the PCA, high-stakes players also travelled to the Bahamas to take part in a number of $100K events which was initially made popular at the PCA. The PCA schedule also featured a $25K High Roller as PokerStars tried its best to make the PCA as attractive as possible to players from all over the world.
Attendance figures began to drop in 2012, with just 1,072 registrations owing to a lack of online satellites for players in the United States. Three years later, numbers continued to drop, recording just 816 entries in 2015 which was a 20 percent drop from 2016.
PokerStars decided to pull the plug on the PCA after numbers recorded in 2018 and 2019 showed that the tournament could no longer manage to sustain itself and there was no other option but to shut it down for good.