A tropical paradise
It takes place in a tropical paradise of luxury where everything seems possible. Dreams come true, hearts are broken, pulses race, and at the end of it all, someone will win a huge chunk of cash. We are, of course, talking about the Caribbean Poker Party 2018. Oh, you thought we meant Love Island?
The ITV2 smash hit is all over our televisions, and it’s pretty hard to get away from it right now. The Caribbean Poker Party is, in many ways, the Love Island of the partypoker LIVE tour. They're not exactly alike, of course, which is probably a good thing, unless you were planning on heading to the Baha Mar in November to get loved up with a twenty-something model/personal trainer/daughter of Danny Dyer. Actually, don’t answer that.
Now, the Love Island Villa is pretty nice. It’s got a super-size hot tub, a bath big enough for two, an enormous swimming pool, a plush Jacuzzi, a fancy fire-pit and a lavish al-fresco bar. But compared to the Baha Mar resort, it’s like staying in a half-a-star hostel in downtown Bognor Regis. Seriously, the word luxurious doesn’t quite do the Baha Mar justice.
In their own words, they are “Tailored to be the perfect blend of bliss and play, chill and thrill, nature and nourish.” Take that, Caroline Flack. Yep, the Baha Mar is designed solely to give visitors a spectacular experience, with a choice of three celebrated hotels, a tantalising collection of luxury lounges, bars and restaurants, a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, an ESPA spa, indulgent shopping facilities, and, of course, most importantly of all, an absolutely stunning ocean view casino.
Less work, more pay
You can’t win millions of dollars on Love Island, either. There may be £50,000 up for grabs on the ITV2 show for the winning couple, but the winner of the CPP Main Event will get at least a million dollars. There will also be huge amounts to play for in several sizzling side events, including the $25,000 buy-in MILLIONS World, which will have a monstrous $10M guarantee. Love Island lasts for eight long weeks, whereas the CPP will be over in a more manageable ten days. Less work for more pay? Yes please.
Love Island is known for its dramatic twists and turns, as the sexy singles couple up, welcome new arrivals through gritted teeth, re-couple, and get eliminated or ‘dumped’ by public votes – or by being single. We admit, it’s all pretty entertaining, or it is until the World Cup starts, anyway. Give me Russia vs Saudi Arabia any day of the week.
Ten days of red-hot poker action
The Caribbean Poker Party, meanwhile, will have its own twists and turns as fortunes fluctuate for players through ten days of red-hot poker action. Away from the felt, there will be an array of glittering activities to make sure every moment in the Bahamas is an unforgettable holiday, as well as a top poker festival. Normally, there are pool parties galore, golf days, nightclub visits, luxury catamaran cruises, and more cocktails than you could ever wish for, and it’ll be no different this time around at the Baha Mar. You don’t see them going on a catamaran cruise on Love Island, do you? Hang on, do you? That wasn't a rhetorical question. I only started watching it this year.
In Love Island, there are all the huge arguments, bitchy comments, and saucy challenges you would expect from a reality show about love filmed in a luxurious Spanish villa. It’s all very entertaining, with Kem and Chris’s brilliant bromance last year, Eyal’s spectacular blow-up at Hayley, and one contestant (who presumably hasn’t switched on the news for the last two years/ever) thinking that Brexit meant that all the UK's trees would be taken away providing some of the highlights.
Both Love Island and the CPP involve intense competition. Sure, one is playing poker, and the other is competing with the people around you to get in and stay in a couple long enough to make the public vote for you, but the overall aim is the same – win. We’ve talked about the luxurious surroundings of the stunning Love Island villa in sunny Majorca, but the Baha Mar Casino as a setting for competition isn’t too shabby itself.
With floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the sparkling sea by day, and dazzling fire and light displays by night, playing poker at the Baha Mar Casino is a spectacle like no other. The casino is designed so that every level of player, from casual players to the most super of super high rollers, can enjoy the wonderful surroundings whilst their every need is catered to. As the Baha Mar website puts it: “It is the Caribbean’s largest, most glamorous casino—perfectly combining high energy and sublime luxury.”
To conclude, Love Island is great. It’s entertaining, it’s fun and it’s a good way to spend an hour of your precious time every day for the next six weeks. But, as a wise man (Kanye West) once (sort of) said: “Yo, Love Island, I'm really happy for you, I'mma let you finish, but the Caribbean Poker Party 2018 will be one of the best poker festivals of all time!” Kanye's right you know. Everyone’s going to fall in love with the CPP. Make sure you're there!
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- Rob Godmon
- Maksym Tsyhryk
- Artur Lazarev