The news: PokerStars will be hosting the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) at the 2019 PCA.
The ambitious tournament has caused quite a stir in the poker community. Most of the comments have been positive, but players are asking a lot of questions.
In this column, US Poker will answer as many of these questions as possible.
Top line takeaways for the PSPC
The PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship tournament will take place from January 6-10, 2019 in the Bahamas, as part of the PokerStars PCA series.
The PSPC is an open-event, $25,000 buy-in tournament.
There is no re-entry.
There is no rake.
The PSPC will use a slow, player-friendly structure that will last five days.
PokerStars is adding $1 million to the first-place prize-money.
PokerStars will be giving away more than 300 Platinum Passes to the tournament throughout 2018. Each Platinum Pass is valued at $30,000, and includes the $25,000 buy-in and $5,000 to cover travel and expenses. The Platinum Passes alone will add $8 million of value to the prize-pool.
How can I play in the PSPC?
There are three ways to play in the PSPC:
- Buy-in directly for $25,000.
- Through traditional online qualifiers (satellites, super-satellites, and steps tournaments).
- Win a Platinum Pass package.
How do I win a Platinum Pass?
Platinum Passes will be awarded at PokerStars Live events and online.
Platinum Passes will be available in virtually every jurisdiction PokerStars operates in, including the United States.
Presently, there are four ways to win a Platinum Pass online:
- Play in any Major Online Series: COOP, SCOOP, TCOOP, and MicroMillions.
- All Main Event winners will receive a Platinum Pass to the PSPC.
- Every entrant in a major tournament series will receive a ticket to a Platinum Pass freeroll.
- Freeroll tickets and Platinum Passes will also be available to participants in “marquee events” such as the Sunday Million, Sunday Storm, or Sunday Warmup.
- Platinum Passes will be awarded to cash game and Sit & Go players via PokerStars’ promotions and challenges.
- The site’s loyalty program will randomly award players with Platinum Passes.
PokerStars will award Platinum Passes at live events in a variety of ways, including:
- Players who win a “Tier 1” Main Event will receive a Platinum Pass to the PSPC.
- PokerStars will randomly award Platinum Passes to players in the field in a variety of ways.
- Players who bubble the tournament might be the recipient of a Platinum Pass.
- Wild Card drawings.
- Last Longer competitions.
- Randomly selected to play in a Sit & Go to win a Platinum Pass.
PokerStars plans to introduce even more paths to winning a Platinum Pass throughout the year.
In an interview with the PokerStars Blog, Negreanu said the PSPC was designed to make a splash and let poker players know they are appreciated.
“PokerStars has been talking about ways in which they could have something that would be really buzz-worthy in the community, create a big splash, really create an event so that all poker players will feel appreciated. And this is the way they felt they could do that.”
Negreanu also indicated PokerStars is hearing the footsteps of competitors.
“Obviously, competition breeds people coming up with innovative things, and we’ve seen some competition lately from the way people can play live events. This is our way to show the poker community that PokerStars has always actually cared about poker first and foremost, and they want to prove that.”
At the end of the day, PokerStars is hoping the PSPC will serve two important purposes:
- It’s a show of force. The $9 million PokerStars is putting in the prize-pool is the company flexing its muscles and letting competitors know that if they want to try to capture market share they’re going to have to come with their A-game.
- It will help rehabilitate PokerStars image in the professional poker community and let aspiring players know that, despite what they are hearing on forums and social media, PokerStars does care about the players, and is still the place to play online poker.
In a nutshell, that’s what PokerStars is hoping to get out of the PSPC.