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Another year has started, and that means there’s a boatload of money to be won this year in live tournaments. 2008 has just begun, but no time has been wasted as the World Poker Tour World Poker Open preliminary, the Aussie Millions preliminary events, the World Series of Poker Circuit Event in Tunica, Mississippi, and the European Poker Tour event in the Caribbean are all under way.

The Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure, also known as PCA, formerly a WPT event, now an EPT event, is underway at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas. Poker Stars ran quite a bit of satellites for this tournament, and it showed. This year the event has reached 1136 entries, up 199 from last year’s mark of 937 entries. Last year, Ryan Daut beat out Issac Haxton for the 1.5 million dollar first place prize. It was a strong final table that featured Robert Mizrachi, who is brother of Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Jonathan Little, WSOP bracelet winner Jon Friedberg, and Scott Clements. It is of no surprise that the PCA gains so much attention. It presents a very attractive place for pro poker players to come to, as it’s a beautiful place to go to in the middle of winter. Not to mention the legal age to play in this event is 18 and not 21.  This year the buy in is $8k U.S. As of now, the PCA is going into day 3, after day 1A, 1B, and day 2. After today’s Day 2, they’re already down to 159 players in the Caribbean. The chip leader is none other than online pro Eric “Rizen” Lynch. Lynch, a talented and well-respected player online, holds nearly 100k more than 2nd place. Keep in mind, the blinds will be 2k/4k tomorrow, so Lynch clearly has an enormous stack at this point. 1st place is approximately 2 million dollars, and it’s sure to be an exciting race the rest of the way through.

The Aussie Millions are a growing event, featuring several different preliminary events this year. Coming from the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, this poker extravaganza offers another attractive option for poker players looking for something a little different. All of these events are in Australian dollars. Already in the books are an $1100 No Limit Hold ‘Em event, an $1100 Pot Limit Hold ’Em event, and a $550 Limit 7 Card Stud/7 Card Stud Hi-Lo/Razz event, which was won by Jimmy Fricke. Jimmy Fricke, known as “Gobboboy” online, took 2nd place last year in the Aussie Millions Main Event, just falling short heads up against Gus Hansen. Underway right now is the $1100 Limit Hold ‘Em event. After this, there are seven more events until the Main Event. Quite possibly the most fascinating event of this whole series is the $100 k buy in event. While it doesn’t get many participants, it makes for an extremely exciting event to follow. Last year this event saw 18 players and was won by Erick Lindgren for $1 million. Also, the series boasts 17 events, up from 10 events last year. Without a doubt, the Aussie Millions are becoming a very popular series.

Interestingly enough, there are two series underway in Tunica currently. Those being the WPT World Poker Open, and the WSOP circuit stop in Tunica. The WSOP circuit event lasts 19 days and caps off with a $7700 Main Event. The World Poker Open features three weeks worth of events, and finishes off with a $10 K Main Event. Last year the Main Event was won by Bryan Sumner, who defeated Daniel Negreanu, who has done extremely well in WPT events over the years. One of the unfortunate problems is both events are going on at the same time, in the same city, so it’s to be expected that the fields will suffer a bit due to this, and the fact that the Aussie Millions and PCA are going on at the same time.

2008 is here, and there will be many storylines emerging in the next few weeks as millionaires are made and dreams are realized. Without a doubt, the new year is starting off with a big bang.