Were they really planning on just randomly giving away more than 300 PSPC entry packages valued at $30,000 each? Could they possibly be adding another $1 million to the winner’s take?
They were promising an event with a $9 million overlay. Poker players the world over had to be pinched because they thought they were dreaming.
Had the PokerStars marketing team been drinking? Had they gone nuts? Did somebody hand over the keys to the PokerStars asylum to its inmates?
In the end, it turned out not to be a dream. In fact, so far, PokerStars has done a good job of keeping its promise.
A lot better job than it did keeping the promise it made to its highest volume players in 2016. That’s when it up and canceled Supernova and Supernova Elite benefits at the 11th hour. It created a public relations nightmare that probably prompted the whole PSPC and $9 million overlay to begin with.
Anyway, PokerStars kept its promise this time. It handed out the first of the so called $30,000 Platinum Passes, which include the $25,000 buy-in and $5,000 for travel, accommodations and expenses, in December.
The passes went to the two players who busted on the bubble of the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event. Anyone that folded to min-cash in that one is still regretting it.
Since then, PokerStars has handed out dozens more in a variety of different ways.
Online series event winners, 2018 PCA event winners, and PokerStars Festival London event winners have all claimed Platinum Passes for themselves.
Heck, PokerStars has even done random draws at live events and run online all-in shootouts giving away the PSPC entry packages. Plus, now they’re running some kind of Platinum Pass Freeroll and offering players a chance to win their way in on social media. All they need to do is guess if former Dutch Olympian Fatima Moreira de Melo is bluffing Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu in a Truth or Bluff? game show style video hosted by 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker.
PokerStars still has a long way to go before they give away all 300 Platinum Passes. Obviously the site is going to keep handing out passes through its live events and online series. They may even have a few more creative ways to give away PSPC entry packages on social media as well.
However, if they’re looking for suggestions, here’s the top three ways US Poker would like to see PokerStars give away a Platinum Pass:
1. WSOP Player Party/Concert Mosh Pit Giveaway
PokerStars has thrown some pretty epic player parties at the WSOP over the years. Rapper and part-time poker player Nelly performed in 2009. However, it really got hot inside Rain nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort in 2010 when Snoop Dogg got on stage and did his thing for a capacity crowd.
The entire poker community descends upon the city of Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual WSOP in June and July. Since they were in town, a who’s who in the poker community always turned up at the PokerStars bash.
The company stopped throwing these lavish affairs after the US Department of Justice gave them the boot from the US market in 2011.
PokerStars is back
However, they are slowly creeping back in. PokerStars launched a New Jersey online poker site in 2016 and has publicly stated its interest in Pennsylvania when that market opens up later this year. A massive WSOP players party would be an excellent way to let everyone know how happy they are to be back.
Carrying on the tradition of getting top hip hop artists to perform, they could bring in Drake. At the end of his set, Drake could simply toss a Platinum Pass into the crowd and let the players in the pit decide whose going to the Bahamas.
Sure, a partypoker sponsored pro like Jason Koon will probably end up wrestling it away from everybody. Plus, the Matt Glantz and Shaun Deeb types may get hurt trying to get their hands on it. However, it’ll make for one awesome train wreck of a scene the rest of the players at the party won’t be able to take their eyes off of.
PokerStars will be immediately back in the epic WSOP player party business and they’ll give away another Platinum Pass as well. Sounds like a win-win.
2. The JokerStars Online Poker Is Rigged Bad Beat Giveaway
Online poker is rigged! Just ask anybody who has ever lost a pot playing on PokerStars. Any one of them will be glad to tell you just how rigged it is.
Bad beat jackpots have been taking the sting away from real tough losses for years. Perhaps a bad beat jackpot giving away Platinum Passes is a good idea on its own. However, there’s something more to this JokerStars Online Poker Is Rigged Bad Beat Giveaway idea.
Instead of just handing a Platinum Pass over to someone who gets quads beat, or ends up with the sucker end of a straight flush when one all-too-lucky opponent has the real goods, we’re proposing a different way to qualify for this jackpot.
It doesn’t matter how bad a beat is. It’s how players handle the beats that we are interested in.
PokerStars should give away a Platinum Pass to the player who displays the most creative way of ripping on the site and complaining online poker is rigged in the chat after dumping a pot.
The staff at US Poker is always on the right side of the doom switch and never suffers from any kind of cash out curse. We have handed out dozens of beats tilting players from all over the world. As a result, we have been witness to countless chat log tirades. Of course, we would be happy to judge the best of the best. It would be our honor to help hand out a Platinum Pass to a player who always knew the fix was in.
3. Affiliate Appreciation
We hate to sound selfish, but what about us?
Affiliate marketing sites posing as media outlets practically built online poker sites like PokerStars. It is time the sites say thank you.
Don’t the sites that bring the poker community its daily dose of barely relevant news in an effort to fool Google’s spiders into thinking they’re legitimate media outlets instead of shills for some online poker partner deserve something?
Half a dozen Platinum Passes would do the trick.
Affiliate/poker media sites could keep a few for themselves. They could send the best poker players on staff to the Bahamas. Then hope they win something they can share with the rest of the bottom feeders that work there. Plus, they could give away a few to their most loyal readers. Otherwise know as the ones who click through and sign up for online poker accounts through their affiliate links.
It’ll certainly be a good way to keep the entire affiliate ball rolling. Poker needs its media, even if most of what they put out is just thinly veiled marketing copy.
A few Platinum Passes would sure to satiate loudmouths like me and make sure we don’t rock the boat too much. Although it may be too little too late as far as that’s concerned.