Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Travel Report: 2015 PCA, Arrival -- Slipping and Sliding

My first full day here in the Bahamas was suitably restful with a couple of enjoyable meals bookending an afternoon of water sliding as we took advantage of the time available before the poker cranks up in earnest today.

After a quiet morning in the room tending to various tasks, I met up with my PokerStars blog colleagues Stephen, Howard, and Adam for a burger and root beer float at the Johnny Rockets. Then Adam parted from the group for the afternoon, leaving the three of us to tour the water slides for the next several hours as I took advantage of Stephen and Howard’s considerable prior experience with them.

Had thought initially I’d confine myself to the Lazy River, the super slow, “toddler friendly” slide better suited for those more interested in seeking sun than fun. But thankfully my guides directed me to the more adventurous options.

We rode the Serpent which includes a slow section carrying you through an enclosed tube surrounded by sharks, and also the Surge which like the Serpent features a stretch of complete darkness as you whipped around the curves. If you're curious, those are the first two slides in this video someone took with a GoPro.

We didn't try the Abyss (the third in the video), but Howard and I did go on the Challenger -- a five-second ride in which you race down against one another (Howard won). We also did the Leap of Faith (the fifth ride in that same video).

Otherwise we took a few tours around the River Rapids, which I think stretches about a mile as it winds all around that side of the island near Cove Beach. A fun mix of fast and slow sections in that one, and in fact each of us managed to get completely dumped from our respective tubes once during the day.

There were lots of families enjoying themselves all around us, and I kept thinking how much Vera would have liked it. Also thought of my nephew who turns six next month and how much fun he could have there as well. Spotted a few poker players and media, too, amid our adventuring, here early enjoying the amenities.

I cannot remember the last time I’d been down a water slide. Might well have been way back as a preteen, for all I know. Pretty easy thing to pick back up again, and it was definitely a blast getting a chance just to relax and let the water carry us where it would.

For dinner we all reconvened along with Brad and Joe for a cab ride over to the Poop Deck, a favorite seafood place of the PCA vets, and the Grilled Fisherman’s Platter I had did not disappoint. Just west of Nassau on the northern coast of the island, we had a spectacular view out onto the water tracking the upward progress of the big round moon shining down as it rose from the horizon for its nightly trek.

Having a morning coffee now and readying to ease into things with today’s $100,000 Super High Roller. Looking at a preliminary list of entrants, many of the usual suspects appear set to participate, including a few new ones like the WCOOP Main Event winner Fedor “CrownUpGuy” Holz.

This is the fifth year of the $100K tournament at the PCA, and it looks like it could attract a largest-ever field for the event. There were 46 entries last year (when Fabian Quoss won), 43 in 2013 (when Scott Seiver won), 30 in 2012 (when Viktor Blom won), and 38 in 2011 (when Eugene Katchalov won the first PCA SHR).

Check over at the PokerStars blog today for reports from this first 2015 PCA event, and additionally follow the live reporting at PokerNews for hands, chip counts, and the usual. I’ll also today be looking ahead to start of tomorrow’s LAPT Bahamas Main Event event, a three-day tournament with a $3,000 buy-in and unlimited reentries. In other words, after today it’ll be a lot more slipping and sliding around from event to event as the 2015 PCA starts to unfold.

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