Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Bahamas PCA 2015 Trip Report

Hello and happy new year!

I guess I'm a bit late on updating you guys with my news... In December I made a trip to Greece to celebrate my 30th birthday with my family and spent the rest of the month like most other online poker players... Grinding the VPPs! I still owe you an overview of 2014 and a post with my goals for 2015 but those things will have to wait cause... What better way is there to start the year than a trip report?

Hello Bahamas!

As you probably know, January is the month of the PCA! This was my third visit to the Bahamas and Paradise Island (that's the name of the little island where the Atlantis Resort is built). I was of course super excited about this trip cause meeting with the rest of the Team PokerStars Pro Online members is always a fun experience. Considering that we're all scattered across the planet and live not only in different countries but also different continents, the PCA is a unique opportunity for all of us to meet in one place.

Andre and I arrived at the Bahamas on the 6th of January, after a really really long trip and a one-night stop in New York. This year we stayed at the Cove which is, in my opinion, the nicest among the Atlantis towers.

The Cove

Our room

The view from our room

The next day was the day of the Team Online meetings. It was great to meet all of the Team members, see old friends again, get to know the new members in person and mess a bit with Alex's new haircut. He made some excuses about how they lost his luggage at the airport and he didn't have any hair gel but between you and me, I think he was just trying out a new look and tried to salvage it any way he could when he realized it wasn't working.

Anyway, back to the meetings! We had a lot of interesting speakers this year including Barry Carter from and Jared Tendler, author of the "Mental Game of Poker". It should have been a long day (we were there from 9.00 to 17.00) but it literally flew by and was over before I knew it. I guess that's what always happens when you're doing something that you really enjoy. 

With Jared Tendler

That night the whole Team Online met at the Bahamian Club for dinner. Delicious food and great company! What more can you ask for a night to be awesome?

The next days were not as fully packed with activities, although you'll never get bored while you're at the PCA. Take for example the HU4ROLLZ promotion that we did and were basically giving free money to people! That was pretty fun and I think everyone enjoyed it, not only the people that were challenging us but the Team Online members as well.

Me doing weird faces at HU4ROLLZ. Must have been one of the matches I lost. :P

Last year I played live poker for the first time at the PCA. It was just a $120 sng so no big tournament by any means but I made it in the money and eliminated my boyfriend in the process so I have fond memories of the experience. This year, I thought I should take it to the next level and play some of the PCA's side events. Here are the ones I played:

Event #10 $2.200 NLH Turbo "Double Bubble"

From what I got, this was a new kind of tourney for the PCA scene. I really enjoyed playing it, I think the structure was nice and it was a fun event. The top 50% of the players would win $2.200 (they basically get their buy-in back) and among those the top 8% would get additional prizes. That created a very interesting dynamic: everyone was playing super tight till the first bubble burst but then they all started going crazy for the second bubble as from that point and on it's similar to a "winner takes all" tournament.

I managed to make it into the money, but I was in a bad shape. The table's chipleader had been terrorizing everybody with his big stack and I was down to 6BBs. I got it it with 99s vs KJo but unfortunately I lost. Still, it was an ITM finish so not too shabby for someone who's inexperienced in live tournaments. Also, considering this was an MTT which is not my area of expertise I felt pretty comfortable while playing it thanks to the turbo structure.

Event #13 $2.200 NLH Turbo Bounty

Having enjoyed the "Double Bubble" tournament so much, I decided to hit the poker room again the next day. I decided to play the bounty tournament where each player had a $1k bounty on their heads. Of course things can't always go my way and that one didn't go very well. It went pretty horribly actually, I don't recall another tournament where I've been so card dead.

I spoke to one of my opponents from that table a couple of days after the tourney was over and he told me that he thought I looked scary. Lol! He also thought I was either getting really bad cards or was the tightest players he'd ever encountered. Hum, I'll go with option number one on this one! I remember I got dealt J2s at some point and I almost got emotional: "Ooooh look, a suited hand! So pretty!" and "Oh my god, this deck has face cards too!". I folded it, but it was the best hand I'd gotten in quite some time so it cost me a bit. You get the picture. That tournament ended in no glory. Not only I got eliminated before the bubble was anywhere within the horizon, but I also didn't pick up any bounties along the way.

Playing the Turbo Bounty. Can you tell I'm not very excited? :P

Event #29 $600 NLH Women's Event

Although not intentionally, it seems like I had saved the best one for the end. The ladies' event! This is a tournament that I've been flirting with for the last couple of years that I've been going to the Bahamas, but I never played it before because it's towards the end of the PCA and we were always leaving too soon. This year however I was determined to participate, so I made our travel plans accordingly.

I registered 10 minutes late (had to get a coffee first!) and was sent to Fatima Moreira de Melo's table. Which by the way was surrounded by cameras. Pressure on! The first hand I was dealt in the tourney was pocket 99s, which allowed me to get a nice pot. The day was starting out in a promising way...

I had around the average stack for quite a long time when an interesting situation came up. I got pocket 77s on the Small Blind. The Button min-raised and I called. So did the Big Blind. The flop came 734 rainbow, giving me top set. I was the first one talking so I checked and so did the other two girls behind me. The turn was a Queen. I made a small bet, the Big Blind called and the Button moved all-in. I shoved too and to my surprise I heard the girl on the big blind say "All-In" after me. I had them both covered, and I was only losing to a pair of pocket Queens or 56 at that point so I was feeling pretty confident. When we flipped our cards over there was a round of wows from the table (including the dealer). The girl on the Button had QJ and the one on the BB had Q4. The river was irrelevant and I got a huge pot, eliminating them both.

From then on it seemed like I was on fire! I kept winning pots, some small, some big and I became the chipleader of the tourney! At the end of day 1 I was second in chips, having only 4BBs less than the chipleader. Day 2 seemed to be going pretty well too, but I run out of luck when I lost ATo vs T9o all-in pre-flop. I went out in 4th place which even though I didn't win the tourney felt great!

Another highlight of the PCA was of course the party. As usual, PokerStars went big in the organization of the party for the players. Try to imagine a combination of the following: great food, open bar, cool DJ, party atmosphere, LED lights, glow-sticks, limbo dancers, fire breathers and a parade of a samba band and dancers! If you want to get a taste of what it was like, check out the video here.

With some of the Team Pro Online members at the PCA party!

The rest of our time at the Atlantis resort was spent at the pool, the water slides, the beach, at restaurants or just hanging out with the Team-Onliners! We had a great time as always and I cannot wait another full year to go back!

Since it's been a habit of mine in most of my trip reports, I'll close this post with some more photos.

There is a Greek restaurant at the Bahamas. Owned by Greek people and all! How cool is that?

If you couldn't tell by all the empty dishes around him, Alex loves greek food!

At the marina

With Celeste at the beach

Cocktails by the fire

Atlantis by night

Good example of what I have for breakfast while at the Atlantis. No wonder I put on a little weight!

Having sweet potato fries & milkshakes with Alex and Bekki

The beach at dusk

At Nobu with Celeste, Alex and Bekki

At the PCA party with Andre and Naoya

Leaving the Bahamas. You can make out the Atlantis resort!

That's all for now guys! I hope you liked this trip report! Let me know what you think in the comments. I'll talk to you soon with another post. 

Good luck at the tables! :)


  1. Nice trip!
    Will you play tickets to PS Team online tournaments in this year? It`s intresting to take a part))

    1. Yes, I will be giving tickets to the Team Pro Online monthly tournament through small contests as usual! :)

  2. Hello Katerina
    I've read all your blogs from the first post and it is always a pleasure to read new articles.
    Reading your blog, made me want to replay poker.
    I'd would like to know if it could be possible to share some of your spreadsheets that help you get to this level ?
    I know that it should be personalize for everyone but it could be a good start to learn from you as you started from 0.
    by the way, i've created my blog and added yours to mine.
    Good luck and see you on the tables maybe one day ;)


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