PokerStars Announces $9 Million-Added Players Championship Event For 2019 In The Bahamas

It appears that PokerStars live events are back with a vengeance. The past couple of years, the site seemed to have stumbled a bit with their live tournament series. Indeed, some of their competitors stepped up their game and began to challenge the long-time regent of live poker festivals for the crown.

PokerStars has responded with the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC). At the PokerStars Championship in Prague, Daniel Negreanu (pictured below) made the big announcement – it will be a $25,000 buy-in event in the Bahamas that they intend to be the single best event of 2019.

There are plenty of $25,000 buy-in events around, but throughout 2018, PokerStars will be giving out over 300 PSPC packages, called “Platinum Passes,” worth $30,000 each (including hotel and travel expenses)… for free! By the end of next year, PokerStars will have pumped $8 million into the PSPC prize pool. And then when the event rolls around on Jan. 6 of 2019, they’ll add $1 million to the first-place prize. All told, PokerStars will be pulling $9 million out of their pockets and putting it into the prize pool for this event.

All told, PokerStars will be pulling $9 million out of their pockets and putting it into the prize pool for this event, not to mention a further $2 million or so in additional player value in the form of travel, hotel and other on-site expenses.

Importantly, this means that 300 players who would have no realistic shot of participating in a high roller event will be sitting with the crème de la crème of the poker world and playing for life-changing money, with the added benefit of players not having to battle through a field of multiple thousands of players to reach the final table.

PokerStars Marketing Director, David Carrion, noted that the PSPC is “an opportunity to put a show together for the poker fans and the poker players of all skill levels and of all countries. We want to create something that stands out in the entry level, in the prize pool, in the mix of players, for recreational players, for serious players, and for professional players. It’s our event for the players.”

Carrion goes on to say that with the manageable field size, PokerStars can provide top-notch service for every entrant, to really elevate and enhance the player experience and make the event more meaningful. This seems like a good thing since of course relatively few of the people entering will grab some of that life-changing cash. But it should be a life-changing experience for everybody who has a ticket.

So PokerStars is making the focus of this marquee event the players; that’s got to be a good thing.

Now the obvious question is how you go about scoring one of these 300-odd Platinum Passes. The first one is already gone; it was awarded alongside the announcement in Prague. But there are still several ways to qualify:

Carrion emphasized that there are paths to the Players Championship for players of every format and every stake. PokerStars wants to be as inclusive and diverse as possible, so that the ultimate field in this event ranges from the top household names (who will probably see this event as unmissable value and buy in directly) to people who are literally starting out their poker careers.

There’s also clear guidance from the site that these Platinum Passes will be one per player, and no selling or trading them. If you win a pass (by skill or luck), you’re going to the Bahamas; pack your bag.

PokerStars seems determined to regain their momentum in the live tournament space, while creating a celebration around poker for all players. Whether you’re a cash game grinder, Spin and Go specialist, or a live tournament aficionado, there will be a path to the PSPC for you.

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