There are a number of poker tournaments happening during the same time as PCPC, why should players attend your event over these other tournaments?
Punta Cana is all about having fun in the best Caribbean resort: The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana. It is a low stress tournament with a large guarantee of $500,000 USD and a low buy in of $1500. It is aimed at players who like to travel and enjoy life… like a rock star.
Which big name pros can we hope to see at the tournament?
We are on the process of confirming celebrities. Many of last year’s pros will play again this year and we have confirmed poker pros such as Antonio Esfandiari and Dave “Devilfish” Ulliot. Devilfish has promised to indulge us with a few songs as well.
Is there anything else on offer apart from the five-day poker event itself?
Oh yes, we are hosting the event at the most amazing venue. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will take your breathe away, you have access to wine and dine at over 9 restaurants throughout the property, including gelato stores and coffee shops all under a 5 star all-inclusive system. The bar that the player’s will have in their suites is more than just a “mini” bar; it is pure decadence with premium 1 liter bottles of alcohol available 24 hrs/day. You can ask for as many bottle refills as you want. Cash games will be open 24/7 during the dates of the event and many fun side events will take place as well.
On top of that, with the purchase of the package you will receive $1500 in spending credits at the hotel to be used towards spa, golf, tours, etc… Fun + Beach + Poker what could be better? I can honestly tell you the Punta Cana Poker Classic has it all.
When was the idea for the tournament conceived?
Last year our marketing team sat around and brainstormed what was lacking in the offline tournament arena, after one of our managers came from PCA. So we threw around a lot of ideas, visited a lot of venues and discovered this jewel of a hotel. We combined the idea of a poker holiday with a high end and well run tournament. One of our managers mentioned how her poker pro husband made her a “poker widow” during tournaments, so we also thought about the hotel spending credits and some activities to pamper player’s guests.
How does this year’s event differ from last year’s offering?
Last year we had local dealers and they were a bit inexperienced. We received a lot of feedback from the players and this year decided to fly in all the dealers from Las Vegas. All have WSOP experience including very professional floor managers, as well as a tournament director with over 30 years of experience.
For the party animals in the field, where will all the best parties be taking place?
There is a great nightclub at the Hard Rock but we also have organized parties every night. There is a great place for Friday night; it is a huge cave (grotto) with a pretty amazing dance floor. It is such a friendly field that also many players host after hour parties at their suites and we all meet after all nighters at the cash games tables. It is super fun for players and their guests.
Why is Punta Cana the best venue for your tournament?
The place is magical, the weather incomparable and the beaches are amazing. This property also has a Jack Nicklaus design golf course. The Hard Rock touch is great, one of their managers was explaining how there is an actual DJ playing music from London 24/7 at the different areas of the hotel: pool area, bars, casino, lobby, etc…
With the recent Black Friday indictment, will you be able to attract the same sized field as last year?
We expect to double the field this year. It is an ambitious project, in a very difficult year for online poker, but we have gotten such great feedback from the players that we strongly believe the attendance will be great.
What is your reply to people that doubt whether the whole package is value for money?
I just tell them this: crunch the numbers: add 5 nights in the best 5 star hotel in the Caribbean, $1650 buy in to a $500,000 GTD event, premium all inclusive beverages and meals and $1500 in hotel spending credits. You get more value than the cost of $3000. We have the best deal at the hotel and I challenge players that ask me, to try to beat our prices. They do their research, call the hotel and get back to me wanting to purchase the package immediately. Keep in mind we are offering suites not standard rooms. Every player will have a Jacuzzi in their room and terrace.
I take each case on an individual basis and that has also been part of the success, the experience is very personalized. I can also tailor the package with more nights or to match any player’s requirements.
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