Players can win their way into the 2018 PCA through a $1,000 PCA Qualifier on PokerStars NJ. This event is set for Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. local time. One PCA package is guaranteed.
The $15,855 PCA package includes a $10,300 Main Event buy-in and nine nights’ accommodation at Atlantis Resort & Casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It also includes $1,000 for travel and another $1,000 in room credit at Atlantis for food and beverages.
Players can buy into the $1,000 qualifier directly or win a PCA Qualifier seat through satellites.
The site is running a series of $100 satellites to the PCA Qualifier. Plus, players can win their way into the $100 satellites for free.
Daily PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Qualifier freerolls
PokerStars NJ began hosting daily freerolls Oct. 27. The freerolls are running every single day at 7 p.m. local time, wrapping up with a final freeroll Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. The top five players in each freeroll will win a $100 PCA satellite ticket.
Players can get two tickets for the freerolls by depositing at least $10 using the bonus code PCA before 1:59 p.m. local time on Nov. 5. Additional deposits prior to the deadline will allow players to claim more freeroll tickets.
The PCA is returning to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas this coming January after a year during which the name was changed to PokerStars Championship Bahamas.
However, more than just marketing material and signage is being altered. The PCA Main Event buy-in is going back to the $10,300 price point of its glory years. That’s when the number of entries reached over 1,500 and prize pools hit more than $15 million.
The number of events on the schedule and rake has also been reduced.
The road to the Bahamas
Back in August, PokerStars global announced its Road to the Bahamas in 2018 PCA satellite plan outside of the US. The goal was to qualify as many as 400 players for the 2018 PCA Main Event.
The PokerStars NJ $1,000 PCA Qualifier may only send one or two players to the Bahamas. However, it does represent the first time US players have been able to qualify for the event since 2011.
The three largest PCA Main Events in history were recorded from 2009 to 2011, when Americans were qualifying for the event in big numbers online.
In 2009, the PCA Main event drew 1,347 entries creating a $12,674,000 prize pool. By 2010, the number of entries reached 1,529, creating a $14,831,300 prize pool. Finally, in 2011, the PCA drew 1,560 entries, creating a $15,132,000 prize pool.
The US Department of Justice effectively shut down online poker in America in the spring of 2011, indicting operators including PokerStars on charges of illegal gambling and bank fraud. PCA Main Event entry numbers have been in a nosedive ever since.
PokerStars ultimately settled the case and returned to the US market via New Jersey in the spring of 2016. PokerStars NJ has been the market leading online poker site since it launched. However, online poker revenues represent less than 10 percent of the $20 million a month in revenue NJ online gambling sites have been earning through 2017.